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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Sun_Worshiper on January 06, 2022, 05:36:19 PM

Title: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 06, 2022, 05:36:19 PM
Today is the one year anniversary of the insurrection on the capital, which was egged on by Trump (and other Republicans), who told lies about voter fraud that predictably fostered distrust in the electoral system. In the last year, we have seen new policies in several Republican controlled states to make it more difficult to vote and to allow partisan legislators to overturn election results. While the Republicans are certainly the more dangerous threat to democracy at the moment, Democrats have also contributed to distrust in democratic institutions by claiming Trump was an illegitimate president on various occasions.

Against this backdrop, there have been several polls revealing that Americans are worried about the state of democracy. This sentiment is shared by Republicans and Democrats, but they disagree on the nature of the problem. Additionally, the US is on a democratic backslide according to several popular measures of democracy.

So how are you feeling about the state of American democracy? Is the danger of authoritarian collapse overstated or are we headed toward another attempted coup (or whatever you'd like to call it) on January 6, 2025? How much depends on Trump running again? What solutions do you see?
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 06, 2022, 05:53:21 PM
Today is the one year anniversary of the insurrection on the capital, which was egged on by Trump (and other Republicans), who told lies about voter fraud that predictably fostered distrust in the electoral system. In the last year, we have seen new policies in several Republican controlled states to make it more difficult to vote and to allow partisan legislators to overturn election results. While the Republicans are certainly the more dangerous threat to democracy at the moment, Democrats have also contributed to distrust in democratic institutions by claiming Trump was an illegitimate president on various occasions.

Against this backdrop, there have been several polls revealing that Americans are worried about the state of democracy. This sentiment is shared by Republicans and Democrats, but they disagree on the nature of the problem. Additionally, the US is on a democratic backslide according to several popular measures of democracy.

So how are you feeling about the state of American democracy? Is the danger of authoritarian collapse overstated or are we headed toward another attempted coup (or whatever you'd like to call it) on January 6, 2025? How much depends on Trump running again? What solutions do you see?

There is not a problem, so there are no solutions needed.

The structure of the founding was to make a tyranny hard to establish, both of a minority and of a majority. No majoritarian democracy. That is still the case.





Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on January 06, 2022, 06:23:56 PM
I'm pretty pessimistic. It looks to me like the death throes of a democracy, and I don't see it getting better any time soon, short of some kind of monumental short-term change.

I think that giving Trump a second round might accelerate it somewhat, but at this point it looks like irreversible climate change to me: it's inevitable.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 06, 2022, 06:38:21 PM

...It looks to me like the death throes of a democracy ... .


A beautiful death! :-)
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mamselle on January 06, 2022, 06:52:12 PM
I'm glad to see this thread, I've been thinking of this issue all day between necessary tasks, teaching, etc.

Yes, it's like a juggernaut on the loose.

But I do see some encouraging points, like the ongoing congressional inquiry, and the upswing in participants with info to share...it might have been nice for them to have come forward earlier, but their input is important and needs to be heard in the quest to determine accountability and mete out due consequences...

   https://youtu.be/6N9nWf6CBwg

Another encouraging moment was Ari Melber's calling a coup a coup, last night, in his call to Navarro....

   https://www.businessinsider.com/ari-melber-challenge-peter-navarro-says-describing-coup-2022-1

...as well as today's announcement by former staffer Stephanie Grisham that she and 15-20 other past Republican WH staffers, both above and below her in rank, plan to meet to discuss how to stop the rolling behemoth threatening to take over their party before it crushes the electoral process next fall:

  https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/06/politics/stephanie-grisham-trump-officials-meeting-cnntv/index.html

There are never-Trumpers who've made inroads, and now formerly-avid-Trumpers are burning their MAGA hats....so there may be a bit of sanity surfacing, even in that camp:

   https://youtu.be/DhbjTiQ6zJU

Individuals with purpose and clear, good intent, like ants, can make a difference, I think.

At least, that's where my hope lies.

M.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: quasihumanist on January 06, 2022, 07:06:45 PM
Automation is going to make half of our country effectively disabled, and the half that aren't disabled aren't generous enough to actually care for them.  The interests of Americans will simply end up too divergent to make democracy work.  We will have civil war, which will go nuclear, so that our technological society will collapse and all the about-to-be-disabled people find themselves useful again - if they aren't dead.

I estimate about a third of my county has no future in our society, and their genes would already be better off with a nuclear war.  Their way of life is as obsolete as that of Native Americans 400 years ago, and our society if it continues on its current path will treat them the same way.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 06, 2022, 07:20:06 PM

Automation is going to make half of our country effectively disabled, and the half that aren't disabled aren't generous enough to actually care for them.  The interests of Americans will simply end up too divergent to make democracy work.  We will have civil war, which will go nuclear, so that our technological society will collapse and all the about-to-be-disabled people find themselves useful again - if they aren't dead.

I estimate about a third of my county has no future in our society, and their genes would already be better off with a nuclear war.  Their way of life is as obsolete as that of Native Americans 400 years ago, and our society if it continues on its current path will treat them the same way.


No worries! We can always go back to the galleys as transport. Would even mitigate global warmiing:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galley#/media/File:Galley-knightshospitaller.jpg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galley#/media/File:Galley-knightshospitaller.jpg)

Plenty 'o jobs there.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 06, 2022, 08:02:03 PM
Quote
Today is the one year anniversary of the insurrection on the capital, which was egged on by Trump (and other Republicans), who told lies about voter fraud that predictably fostered distrust in the electoral system. In the last year, we have seen new policies in several Republican controlled states to make it more difficult to vote and to allow partisan legislators to overturn election results. While the Republicans are certainly the more dangerous threat to democracy at the moment, Democrats have also contributed to distrust in democratic institutions by claiming Trump was an illegitimate president on various occasions.

Mighty charitable of you. [snort] The basis for believing Trump was not a legitimate president could have been:

1. He sometimes had a rude way of expressing himself
2. Hillary deserved the gig. She fought for it, she waited for it, she put up with Bill, and she's a woman, dammit!
3. The electoral college stinks

all of which amount to nothing, even together.

whereas in the wake of COVID chaos, many rules were changed (2020) at the last minute, some legally questionable. George Soros, Mark Zuckerburg and the liberal media that people like them bought suppressed stories about Biden's depraved family and their shenanigans. Now they've used their outsize wealth to insert district attorneys into our lives (not theirs) who refuse to uphold their sworn duties, putting many, especially the poorest, in mortal danger.
 The election was not stolen; it was bought by people who knew exactly what they were doing. So between the two answers to 'was the election stolen or was it squeaky clean?' the more correct answer is 'it was stolen.'
 So no, the right is not the bigger threat. The left is.
We have loudmouths on the left today who are claiming the KKK is coming back. REALLY?


I would have hoped for a reconciliation some time ago, but at this point I'll settle for people with bad ideas being put out of business. And it looks like this can be accomplished simply by people using their right to vote.

ETA: The ideal modern day free republic --- someone comes to your home and holds a scanner up to your forehead and records your vote. You don't even have to get out of bed. The 'wealthy' pay for the staff and equipment. No more voter suppression!
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: nebo113 on January 07, 2022, 06:12:10 AM
Now they've used their outsize wealth to insert district attorneys into our lives (not theirs) who refuse to uphold their sworn duties, putting many, especially the poorest, in mortal danger.

Kinda like the DA who refused to charge the murderers of Ahmad Arbery, sheltered those very murderers, and who is now charged with "not upholding her sworn duty".  And lost her bid for re election.  Guess Soros didn't pump enough $$$ into her campaign.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 07, 2022, 07:14:43 AM
My own take is that American democracy is certainly not in a healthy place. Putting aside structural issues that give outsized power to the political minority and issues like money in politics, the much more urgent issue that the last president tried to overturn the results of a free and fair election and, in his efforts, convinced much of the Republican party that the election was fraudulent. There is a social contract in democracies, whereby losers have to acknowledge that they lose to their voters, and we have lost that on the Republican side and to a lesser extent on the Democratic side (Stacy Abrams in GA race comes to mind). Republicans at the state level have gone the next step, in some instances, by trying to give themselves the ability to interfere in the certification process.

In terms of solutions, there are no great ones on the table. Passing some voting rights legislation could help prevent partisans from interfering at the state level, but it is not a good idea to pass voting rights rules with a strict party vote. Republicans in the senate might be willing to do something to clarify the role of the VP in the certification process, which would be good, but rather marginal given the state of things.

Overall, it is hard to be optimistic.


Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 07, 2022, 07:15:59 AM
Against this backdrop, there have been several polls revealing that Americans are worried about the state of democracy. This sentiment is shared by Republicans and Democrats, but they disagree on the nature of the problem. Additionally, the US is on a democratic backslide according to several popular measures of democracy.


An easy check on the health of democracy would be to look at polls about how optimistic people are about their lives, NOT about how they feel about politics. Identitarianism from both the right and left do a good job of making people enraged, but do nothing to make people feel good about the future. (Pretty much by definition; the way to get people enraged is to make them thing things are hopeless, or almost hopeless.)

Unless and until the emphasis shifts to being on peoples' common humanity, and how we are similar, rather than on how we are different, things will get worse.

Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 07, 2022, 07:42:54 AM
Against this backdrop, there have been several polls revealing that Americans are worried about the state of democracy. This sentiment is shared by Republicans and Democrats, but they disagree on the nature of the problem. Additionally, the US is on a democratic backslide according to several popular measures of democracy.


An easy check on the health of democracy would be to look at polls about how optimistic people are about their lives, NOT about how they feel about politics. Identitarianism from both the right and left do a good job of making people enraged, but do nothing to make people feel good about the future. (Pretty much by definition; the way to get people enraged is to make them thing things are hopeless, or almost hopeless.)

Unless and until the emphasis shifts to being on peoples' common humanity, and how we are similar, rather than on how we are different, things will get worse.

Respectfully, that is not a good way to check the health of democracy. It is a good way to check on the optimism of individuals, but has little to do with the health of the democratic system.

You are right though, that polarization has reached a very unhealthy place in this country and finding common ground on issues would be helpful.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: downer on January 07, 2022, 07:57:09 AM
When I was young, I used to think how awful it must have been to live in the Soviet Block, without democracy. But at some point I figured that although there were problems (lack of choice in the supermarket was the one that got most press) life went on for most much as it does for most in western democracies.

In the US, it's long been clear that democracy is very limited, and money rules. Although my faith in national and state elections is not strong, it's not much less than 10 years ago. Things are precarious and may well get worse, especially if the economy collapses, international warfare increases, and the refugee problem impinges more on the US. It's look like China will have huge power over the US not too far from now. One thing that the Trump years made clear is that a significant proportion of people in the US don't give a crap about democracy, and mainly care about power.

But with the looming climate and ecological crisis, all these concerns pale in comparison.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: notmycircus on January 07, 2022, 08:07:27 AM
We are so fortunate to live in this country.  My husband is quite ill and I am compromised, so while you’re free to express any opinion you want, it’s good to live in a state of gratefulness. 
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 07, 2022, 08:30:18 AM
Against this backdrop, there have been several polls revealing that Americans are worried about the state of democracy. This sentiment is shared by Republicans and Democrats, but they disagree on the nature of the problem. Additionally, the US is on a democratic backslide according to several popular measures of democracy.


An easy check on the health of democracy would be to look at polls about how optimistic people are about their lives, NOT about how they feel about politics. Identitarianism from both the right and left do a good job of making people enraged, but do nothing to make people feel good about the future. (Pretty much by definition; the way to get people enraged is to make them thing things are hopeless, or almost hopeless.)

Unless and until the emphasis shifts to being on peoples' common humanity, and how we are similar, rather than on how we are different, things will get worse.

I wonder. People on this thread are mostly left-of-center politically, which is their right. Their president is hurting in the polls. It makes things appear gloomy. They are looking for a path forward in which they have input. What's more likely (according to polling today) is a path forward where their priorities are rejected at voting time. That's how democracy works. Tyranny of the majority. Current leftist fetishes like 'anti-racism'  a supposed need for anti-voter suppression legislation, treating minorities first for COVID because they suffer more in greater numbers relative to their share of the population (obesity makes you more at risk but some white people are obese too, what about them?), southern border enforcement = bigotry, wokeness invading corporate rank-and-file life, neglecting the safety in urban neighborhoods, etc.   The democrats have a portfolio of vividly expressed ideas that the majority doesn't like.  Wait and see. There may be a perfect storm of repudiation coming.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 07, 2022, 09:02:26 AM
Against this backdrop, there have been several polls revealing that Americans are worried about the state of democracy. This sentiment is shared by Republicans and Democrats, but they disagree on the nature of the problem. Additionally, the US is on a democratic backslide according to several popular measures of democracy.


An easy check on the health of democracy would be to look at polls about how optimistic people are about their lives, NOT about how they feel about politics. Identitarianism from both the right and left do a good job of making people enraged, but do nothing to make people feel good about the future. (Pretty much by definition; the way to get people enraged is to make them thing things are hopeless, or almost hopeless.)

Unless and until the emphasis shifts to being on peoples' common humanity, and how we are similar, rather than on how we are different, things will get worse.

Respectfully, that is not a good way to check the health of democracy. It is a good way to check on the optimism of individuals, but has little to do with the health of the democratic system.

Let me put it another way: Revolutions and civil war happen in countries where a large number of people feel despair. The current fashion from both ends of the political spectrum of catastrophising and saying "THOSE people OVER THERE are destroying everything!" is bad, and when people who should know better, like academics and journalists, fuel it instead of trying to calm things own with objective, nuanced perspective, it's not a good omen.

Quote
You are right though, that polarization has reached a very unhealthy place in this country and finding common ground on issues would be helpful.

Common ground requires everyone to admit that there are some legitimate concerns on both "sides" of an issue, and that the challenge comes down to figure out a compromise in the weights attached to the different concerns.

For instance, with regard to covid:
Anyone with a brain realizes that any action or solution needs to consider both of those.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Istiblennius on January 07, 2022, 09:10:56 AM
Since we live in a republic and not a true democracy, I am grateful to be in a state where human rights are more protected. Given that the Supreme Court is kicking things like abortion rights back to states, our state recognizes that women are people, which is good.
 
Here's hoping that Canada will take us in as the federal system shifts more and more to a Putinesque kleptocracy (and we wonder why the grifter in chief admired the guy). This will happen either through right wing cheating through gerrymandering and voter suppression and outright fraud as they take over local election systems and continue to refuse to admit American Citizens in Puerto Rico and D.C. senate representation. Or if those institutions prevail, and the cheating comes to naught, then we will see another insurrection, maybe even a successful one.

The Electoral College and Senate are already outdated enough to eliminate the one person-one vote idea that made our republic something like a democracy. If your ideas are so bad you can't convince people to vote for you, then cheat. And if they are so bad that even the thumb on the scales doesn't get you your way, go to outright bullying.

Yeah. I'm cynical.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: apl68 on January 07, 2022, 09:26:30 AM
I seriously doubt that we're headed into a dictatorship anytime soon.  But our government at the federal level obviously has not been functioning well in recent years, and overall trends are not looking good.  There's a saying to the effect that a society gets the government that it deserves.  Given the direction that our society has been moving over the years, I think we're seeing the insight of that saying demonstrated.  Our democracy is sick because our society is sick (Or maybe I should say getting sicker, since I know my history too well to imagine that there was ever a time when society and democracy enjoyed anything like perfect health). 

Societies and governments can get healthier as well as sicker, and maybe that could yet happen.  But with the very environment we live in continually getting sicker and sicker, and harder to live with and in, it seems unlikely that society will improve.  This isn't just happening in the U.S., either.  It's everywhere in the whole world.  To me it appears that the world as we know it is heading into its end times--perhaps within my lifetime (I'm in my early 50s), almost certainly within the lifetimes of today's young people.  The good news is there's a new world coming.  I can live through the death of the old one, if it comes in my time, with that knowledge to help me get through it.  We're just finally seeing what we were told 20 centuries ago to look out for.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 07, 2022, 09:30:22 AM
Against this backdrop, there have been several polls revealing that Americans are worried about the state of democracy. This sentiment is shared by Republicans and Democrats, but they disagree on the nature of the problem. Additionally, the US is on a democratic backslide according to several popular measures of democracy.


An easy check on the health of democracy would be to look at polls about how optimistic people are about their lives, NOT about how they feel about politics. Identitarianism from both the right and left do a good job of making people enraged, but do nothing to make people feel good about the future. (Pretty much by definition; the way to get people enraged is to make them thing things are hopeless, or almost hopeless.)

Unless and until the emphasis shifts to being on peoples' common humanity, and how we are similar, rather than on how we are different, things will get worse.

Respectfully, that is not a good way to check the health of democracy. It is a good way to check on the optimism of individuals, but has little to do with the health of the democratic system.

Let me put it another way: Revolutions and civil war happen in countries where a large number of people feel despair. The current fashion from both ends of the political spectrum of catastrophising and saying "THOSE people OVER THERE are destroying everything!" is bad, and when people who should know better, like academics and journalists, fuel it instead of trying to calm things own with objective, nuanced perspective, it's not a good omen.

Quote
You are right though, that polarization has reached a very unhealthy place in this country and finding common ground on issues would be helpful.

Common ground requires everyone to admit that there are some legitimate concerns on both "sides" of an issue, and that the challenge comes down to figure out a compromise in the weights attached to the different concerns.

For instance, with regard to covid:
  • No-one wants an epidemic to wipe out society or destroy the healthcare system.
  • No-one wants to create a police state and imprison everyone at home indefinitely.
Anyone with a brain realizes that any action or solution needs to consider both of those.

The left, as of today anyway, is opting out of any common ground discussion, whether they know it or not, by insisting that 'white supremacy' be dealt with. Biden has already planted himself in this camp, which should make him an easy mark for the republican in 2024.
Unverified yet popular claim that January 6 riots were about white supremacy: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/naacp-head-white-supremacy-has-endured-beyond-jan-6-diminishing-voting-rights/ar-AASuMtN
A way to take a stand against odd, bothersome people without playing the race card (as if such a simple task would require someone's help, but apparently that's where we are):  https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/10/15/no-the-proud-boys-are-not-white-supremacists/
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 07, 2022, 09:48:59 AM
Since we live in a republic and not a true democracy, I am grateful to be in a state where human rights are more protected. Given that the Supreme Court is kicking things like abortion rights back to states, our state recognizes that women are people, which is good.
 
Here's hoping that Canada will take us in as the federal system shifts more and more to a Putinesque kleptocracy (and we wonder why the grifter in chief admired the guy).

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Canada isn't perfect either. (And as an aside, if the Republican party instantly evaporated, wouldn't that make the US "putinesque" as a single party state? I'm amazed at how many people who should know better seem to think total dominance of ANY single party would be a good idea.)

 
Quote
This will happen either through right wing cheating through gerrymandering and voter suppression and outright fraud as they take over local election systems and continue to refuse to admit American Citizens in Puerto Rico and D.C. senate representation. Or if those institutions prevail, and the cheating comes to naught, then we will see another insurrection, maybe even a successful one.

The Electoral College and Senate are already outdated enough to eliminate the one person-one vote idea that made our republic something like a democracy. If your ideas are so bad you can't convince people to vote for you, then cheat. And if they are so bad that even the thumb on the scales doesn't get you your way, go to outright bullying.


A single party state would be so much better. See how much Hong Kong has improved in the last 20 years.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 07, 2022, 10:15:00 AM
This was on another blog in Summer of 2020, before the presidential election:

Trump wins. California joins Mexico. New England separates and puts up walls to keep people from escaping to lower-tax areas. Canada blocks them from going North. Illinois goes bankrupt and Chicago becomes Mogadishu. Washington and Oregon go to war with each other. The rest of the country grows and prospers.

:-)
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 07, 2022, 10:35:34 AM
This was on another blog in Summer of 2020, before the presidential election:

Trump wins. California joins Mexico. New England separates and puts up walls to keep people from escaping to lower-tax areas. Canada blocks them from going North. Illinois goes bankrupt and Chicago becomes Mogadishu. Washington and Oregon go to war with each other. The rest of the country grows and prospers.

:-)

Darn right. We don't want their guns, or complaints about our "high taxes", "Monopoly money", the metric system, or bilingual labels on packaging.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: jimbogumbo on January 07, 2022, 11:41:51 AM
This was on another blog in Summer of 2020, before the presidential election:

Trump wins. California joins Mexico. New England separates and puts up walls to keep people from escaping to lower-tax areas. Canada blocks them from going North. Illinois goes bankrupt and Chicago becomes Mogadishu. Washington and Oregon go to war with each other. The rest of the country grows and prospers.

:-)

I've seen the quote. What is ironic is that the Northeast, California, Oregon, Washington and Chicago represent such a large portion of the economy that the "rest" of the country doesn't have a chance to prosper. Aside from Texas and Florida there isn't much. particularly of you throw in that Georgia would erupt in civil war.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 07, 2022, 11:45:27 AM
This was on another blog in Summer of 2020, before the presidential election:

Trump wins. California joins Mexico. New England separates and puts up walls to keep people from escaping to lower-tax areas. Canada blocks them from going North. Illinois goes bankrupt and Chicago becomes Mogadishu. Washington and Oregon go to war with each other. The rest of the country grows and prospers.

:-)

I've seen the quote. What is ironic is that the Northeast, California, Oregon, Washington and Chicago represent such a large portion of the economy that the "rest" of the country doesn't have a chance to prosper. Aside from Texas and Florida there isn't much. particularly of you throw in that Georgia would erupt in civil war.

Don't confuse levels with rates of change. :-)
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Istiblennius on January 07, 2022, 11:55:51 AM

A single party state would be so much better. See how much Hong Kong has improved in the last 20 years.

We used to have Whigs and Tories. We wouldn't have a one party system and I hope and would love to see something moderate replace the White Kristian Nationalist cult that has cast out Liz Cheney of all people.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 07, 2022, 12:01:20 PM
If we don't do something about Randi Weingarten everyone's going to hate teachers.https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/democrats-botched-public-school-covid-policy/621183/

Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: downer on January 07, 2022, 12:02:14 PM
We are so fortunate to live in this country.  My husband is quite ill and I am compromised, so while you’re free to express any opinion you want, it’s good to live in a state of gratefulness.

No clause here seems related to any other clause. None of them seem relevant to the thread.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 07, 2022, 12:16:21 PM
If we don't do something about Randi Weingarten everyone's going to hate teachers.https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/democrats-botched-public-school-covid-policy/621183/

Thank goodness for Randi!

The obstreperousness of the teachers' unions during COVID may be the spark that starts to revolutionize the system.

Virginia voting is a beginning, big time.

By revolution I mean parental choice of institutions and content.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Stockmann on January 07, 2022, 12:20:59 PM
I think it's a mistake to view this in isolation from regional and global trends - democracy reached its global high-water mark in the 90's and has been receding globally ever since. Trump actually stole the playbook of the Mexican Left, not least crying fraud in any election you don't win, and his Covid policy was a more moderate, comparatively fact-based version of those of Mexico and Brazil, except only for his support for vaccine development. Extreme political polarization has swept the Americas with only a few exceptions (look at Chile for the latest example).



This was on another blog in Summer of 2020, before the presidential election:

Trump wins. California joins Mexico. New England separates and puts up walls to keep people from escaping to lower-tax areas. Canada blocks them from going North. Illinois goes bankrupt and Chicago becomes Mogadishu. Washington and Oregon go to war with each other. The rest of the country grows and prospers.

:-)

California's Hispanic population would never put up with it.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Puget on January 07, 2022, 12:48:53 PM


This was on another blog in Summer of 2020, before the presidential election:

Trump wins. California joins Mexico. New England separates and puts up walls to keep people from escaping to lower-tax areas. Canada blocks them from going North. Illinois goes bankrupt and Chicago becomes Mogadishu. Washington and Oregon go to war with each other. The rest of the country grows and prospers.

:-)

California's Hispanic population would never put up with it.

Whoever wrote that clearly knows very little about the west coast. Who would be dumb enough to think OR and WA would not go to war with each other??? They are politically and culturally quite closely aligned (if you doubt my knowledge of that, please see monicker).  If they did anything, CA, OR and WA would leave together (aka "Cascadia"). They would collectively take a big chunk of the economy and an even bigger chunk of the military with them. Controlling the Pacific ports alone would give them a huge amount of power.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 07, 2022, 12:56:08 PM
Quote
Don't confuse levels with rates of change. :-)

People who can't laugh at themselves are dangerous. :-)
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 07, 2022, 01:50:29 PM

A single party state would be so much better. See how much Hong Kong has improved in the last 20 years.

We used to have Whigs and Tories. We wouldn't have a one party system and I hope and would love to see something moderate replace the White Kristian Nationalist cult that has cast out Liz Cheney of all people.

The voters remain the same, regardless of what the parties are. Any party with any desire to win has to have a big enough tent for a significant part of the electorate. Trump is kind of a red herring; his popularity was relatively low, and the fact that a reasonable percentage of those who voted Obama in 2012 went to Trump in 2016 suggests it had little to do with him personally. Focusing on him is just a way to ignore the ways that the Democrats failed to attract lots of voters that they might have gotten otherwise. ( You know, the "deplorables".)

Bill Maher, definitely neither a Republican nor even a conservative, raised this point a few years back. The fact that some people would choose someone like Trump over the Democrats indicates how alienated they had become by the party that they "should" have embraced.

Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 07, 2022, 02:01:07 PM

...

The voters remain the same, regardless of what the parties are. Any party with any desire to win has to have a big enough tent for a significant part of the electorate. Trump is kind of a red herring; his popularity was relatively low, and the fact that a reasonable percentage of those who voted Obama in 2012 went to Trump in 2016 suggests it had little to do with him personally. Focusing on him is just a way to ignore the ways that the Democrats failed to attract lots of voters that they might have gotten otherwise. ( You know, the "deplorables".)

Bill Maher, definitely neither a Republican nor even a conservative, raised this point a few years back. The fact that some people would choose someone like Trump over the Democrats indicates how alienated they had become by the party that they "should" have embraced.

Bingo!

Would it not in that case be simpler
for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
--Bert Brecht, The Solution, 1953. Published 1959.

Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Istiblennius on January 07, 2022, 04:06:01 PM

The voters remain the same, regardless of what the parties are. Any party with any desire to win has to have a big enough tent for a significant part of the electorate. Trump is kind of a red herring; his popularity was relatively low, and the fact that a reasonable percentage of those who voted Obama in 2012 went to Trump in 2016 suggests it had little to do with him personally. Focusing on him is just a way to ignore the ways that the Democrats failed to attract lots of voters that they might have gotten otherwise. ( You know, the "deplorables".)

Bill Maher, definitely neither a Republican nor even a conservative, raised this point a few years back. The fact that some people would choose someone like Trump over the Democrats indicates how alienated they had become by the party that they "should" have embraced.

I get what you are saying and acknowledge that there is some truth to it, but it is also more complicated. The current GOP strategy also isn't to have a big tent for the electorate, it is to hand pick the electorate that it wants and actively try to prevent much of the electorate from voting.

From the eighties forward, the active project to dismantle and hamstring the federal government and then say "see, government is unable to help you" has convinced that hand-picked electorate to vote against their own interests. It is also true the Democrats are horrible at messaging. When individual components of Obamacare and Build Back Better are presented to Americans, they in large number like and support them. But then Tucker and co screech "death panels" and "socialism". There is also a lot of privilege fragility that shouldn't have to be handled so carefully, but probably needs to be if we are to move people past that fragility.

And the two parties are playing very different games. "Build the Wall" fits on a bumper sticker. "Universal pre-K to improve quality of life for all and reduce the amount of money we spend on medicaid, SNAP and mass incarceration" is a lot harder to get on a sticker.

It's also a lot easier to lie and obfuscate and just refuse to do anything beyond make tax cuts, wave flags, and pass outsized military budgets. It's a heck of a lot harder to actually try to govern a really diverse country that has been shredded by decades of growing income inequality, lack of health care, and insane levels of gun violence. Yeah, Canada's not perfect but they have a handle on those last two things which make us the shame of the developed world as they should.

And let's not forget only one party is actively undermining democracy to the extent that they celebrate the terrorists of January 6 as patriots.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 07, 2022, 04:18:07 PM
Quote
And let's not forget only one party is actively undermining democracy to the extent that they celebrate the terrorists of January 6 as patriots.

And let's not forget only one party is actively undermining democracy to the extent that they celebrate the terrorists of the George Floyd riots as patriots.

yet...

There are democrats who want it understand that they notice black Americans' pain, but do not want police precincts, cruisers burned to the ground or non-prosecuted retail looting to express that concern.

There are republicans who suspect the voting count accuracy in 2020 was compromised, and that people who chose Trump over Biden and Hillary have been unfairly maligned, but don't need to cause a fracas in public to express themselves.

Both these group ought to able to see each other as reasonable, in theory, but are drowned out by the hysterical noise.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 07, 2022, 04:52:56 PM
Quote
to vote against their own interests.

Ah yes, the fallback position of Marxism: The masses suffer from false consciousness.

Therefore, those who are against us may not vote.

The neo's have happily taken this over form the originals.


Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 08, 2022, 08:09:39 AM
I'll just remind everyone who is trying to "both sides are bad" this thing that Trump and his Republican allies tried to overturn the results of a free and fair election. This is the immediate crisis to democracy.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: downer on January 08, 2022, 08:34:39 AM
What would have happened if Mike Pence had agreed to do what Trump asked him to do? How close were we to civil war?

It didn't feel that close to me.

But then I think how the democracy of a country is more a matter of a sliding scale rather than all or nothing. Right now I'd rate the US something like 2 out of 5 stars. Maybe 2.5. Do political scientists have official ratings of how democratic countries are?
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 08, 2022, 08:40:09 AM
I'll just remind everyone who is trying to "both sides are bad" this thing that the republican party still believes the American experiment is worth continuing and the democratic party (at least the ones we hear from most of often) have given up on it and can't offer anything but the opportunity to join them wallowing in misery.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on January 08, 2022, 08:43:38 AM
What would have happened if Mike Pence had agreed to do what Trump asked him to do? How close were we to civil war?

It didn't feel that close to me.

I don't think you were close to civil war either. That would require the Democratic part of the country to take up arms, which seems unlikely at best. This would, after all, have been the second election stolen by Republicans, and the first saw Democrats roll over for the sake of "unity".


Quote
But then I think how the democracy of a country is more a matter of a sliding scale rather than all or nothing. Right now I'd rate the US something like 2 out of 5 stars. Maybe 2.5. Do political scientists have official ratings of how democratic countries are?

There's the Democracy Index (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index) (but it's compiled by The Economist).
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 08, 2022, 08:45:37 AM
What would have happened if Mike Pence had agreed to do what Trump asked him to do? How close were we to civil war?

It didn't feel that close to me.

But then I think how the democracy of a country is more a matter of a sliding scale rather than all or nothing. Right now I'd rate the US something like 2 out of 5 stars. Maybe 2.5. Do political scientists have official ratings of how democratic countries are?

The Polity index is popular among political scientists. We're at a 5 on the -10 to 10 scale these days, putting us below the democracy threshold of 6. Economist also has one that rates US as a flawed democracy. I'm sure there are others.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: spork on January 08, 2022, 10:20:19 AM
What would have happened if Mike Pence had agreed to do what Trump asked him to do? How close were we to civil war?

It didn't feel that close to me.

But then I think how the democracy of a country is more a matter of a sliding scale rather than all or nothing. Right now I'd rate the US something like 2 out of 5 stars. Maybe 2.5. Do political scientists have official ratings of how democratic countries are?

V-Dem: https://www.v-dem.net/ (https://www.v-dem.net/)

Freedom House: https://freedomhouse.org/ (https://freedomhouse.org/)

We had a good run but it's over.

I recommend The Unwinding by George Packer.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 08, 2022, 10:40:23 AM

The voters remain the same, regardless of what the parties are. Any party with any desire to win has to have a big enough tent for a significant part of the electorate. Trump is kind of a red herring; his popularity was relatively low, and the fact that a reasonable percentage of those who voted Obama in 2012 went to Trump in 2016 suggests it had little to do with him personally. Focusing on him is just a way to ignore the ways that the Democrats failed to attract lots of voters that they might have gotten otherwise. ( You know, the "deplorables".)

Bill Maher, definitely neither a Republican nor even a conservative, raised this point a few years back. The fact that some people would choose someone like Trump over the Democrats indicates how alienated they had become by the party that they "should" have embraced.

And the two parties are playing very different games. "Build the Wall" fits on a bumper sticker. "Universal pre-K to improve quality of life for all and reduce the amount of money we spend on medicaid, SNAP and mass incarceration" is a lot harder to get on a sticker.


Democrat ideas don't fit on bumper stickers? There are lots, but here are a couple of examples:


As I said before, voters are not stupid, and hyperbolic nonsense doesn't impress them. They may not say it to anyone's face, but in the privacy of the ballot box they will vote against that stupidity.

The above examples could both have been replaced with much more truthful statements that many voters could accept, if in fact they were about truthfulness rather than tribalism.



In the first case, one of the big complaints against police is related to people having mental health crises. Voters are not stupid, and have heard these stories. Virtually all agree that improvements can be made. If that involves more or better training for police, it would actually require more funding for police. If it involves setting up programs with mental health professionals dealing with some of these cases, then it may eventually reduce the need for resources, but if so that is a secondary consequence; it is NOT a prerequisite for the improvement.

In the second case, one of the complaints against the justice system is that many historical complaints of sexual assault were not investigated. Voters are not stupid, and have heard these stories. Virtually all agree that improvements can be made. However, most voters have heard stories of false claims of sexual assault, and every voter knows of some woman who has lied about something. ( And "believe all women" presents a logical impossibility in the case of a female teacher accused of sexual interference with a female student. If the teacher denies the claim, WHICH woman is to be believed??? Again, voters are not stupid and see through this immediately.)

Trying to get voters to say the magic phrases and use the secret handshake to show that they're part of the "right" tribe is condescending and ineffective. Voters who do not voluntarily align with a specific party will not be browbeaten into submission just to avoid being identified with those "other bad people over there".

Truthfulness is more important than tribalism to a large section of the electorate.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 08, 2022, 10:58:52 AM
What would have happened if Mike Pence had agreed to do what Trump asked him to do? How close were we to civil war?

It didn't feel that close to me.

But then I think how the democracy of a country is more a matter of a sliding scale rather than all or nothing. Right now I'd rate the US something like 2 out of 5 stars. Maybe 2.5. Do political scientists have official ratings of how democratic countries are?

V-Dem: https://www.v-dem.net/ (https://www.v-dem.net/)

Freedom House: https://freedomhouse.org/ (https://freedomhouse.org/)

We had a good run but it's over.

I recommend The Unwinding by George Packer.

I checked out the Freedom House ratings, for the US and a couple of other countries with which I am somewhat familiar.

The ratings seem to derive from the degree of agreement between matters in countries and Freedom House's preferred policies. For the US it is said:

However, in recent years its democratic institutions have suffered erosion, as reflected in partisan pressure on the electoral process, bias and dysfunction in the criminal justice system, harmful policies on immigration and asylum seekers, and growing disparities in wealth, economic opportunity, and political influence.

--In recent years [Trump, Republicans]. I guess they don't like him or them.
--Partisan pressure on the electoral system. I suppose they mean by Republicans, but one can say from Democrats as well.
--Bias in criminal justice. I suppose the incarcerated population must be proportional to race in the population.
--Harmful immigration policies. One can disagree, strongly.
--Disparities in ... everything. The disparity in wealth is rich. I suppose most wealth was stolen.

So their trick is to claim the system is broken rather than to argue one's views. That's very common, but is mere political rhetoric.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 08, 2022, 11:06:56 AM
What would have happened if Mike Pence had agreed to do what Trump asked him to do? How close were we to civil war?

It didn't feel that close to me.

But then I think how the democracy of a country is more a matter of a sliding scale rather than all or nothing. Right now I'd rate the US something like 2 out of 5 stars. Maybe 2.5. Do political scientists have official ratings of how democratic countries are?

V-Dem: https://www.v-dem.net/ (https://www.v-dem.net/)

Freedom House: https://freedomhouse.org/ (https://freedomhouse.org/)

We had a good run but it's over.

I recommend The Unwinding by George Packer.

I checked out the Freedom House ratings, for the US and a couple of other countries with which I am somewhat familiar.

The ratings seem to derive from the degree of agreement between matters in countries and Freedom House's preferred policies. For the US it is said:

However, in recent years its democratic institutions have suffered erosion, as reflected in partisan pressure on the electoral process, bias and dysfunction in the criminal justice system, harmful policies on immigration and asylum seekers, and growing disparities in wealth, economic opportunity, and political influence.

--In recent years [Trump, Republicans]. I guess they don't like him or them.
--Partisan pressure on the electoral system. I suppose they mean by Republicans, but one can say from Democrats as well.
--Bias in criminal justice. I suppose the incarcerated population must be proportional to race in the population.
--Harmful immigration policies. One can disagree, strongly.
--Disparities in ... everything. The disparity in wealth is rich. I suppose most wealth was stolen.

So their trick is to claim the system is broken rather than to argue one's views. That's very common, but is mere political rhetoric.

Try looking at Polity Index, the Economist democracy rating, and the myriad of others showing US democracy in decline.

More generally, and I cannot believe I have to keep repeating this, Trump and his Republican allies tried to overturn the results of a free and fair election just one year ago. You keep going on about tyranny of the majority, insisting there is no problem, and saying "it is mere political rhetoric," but you are ignoring a literal attack on the democratic process and system.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 08, 2022, 11:42:13 AM
Quote
Trump and his Republican allies tried to overturn the results of a free and fair election

Clearly, a bunch of incompetents. Hardly any police defense and the rioters can't even usurp a government when their allies are sitting in the chamber. I am not shaking in my boots.

Argue the case(s) to the voters. Repeating "Trump" and "disparity" gets one only so far with the electorate.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Ruralguy on January 08, 2022, 12:59:10 PM
Perhaps there was no real danger of them actually staging a successful coup, in the sense of maintaining power beyond a few moments of confusion, but I think there was real danger of attacking and killing Pence or Romney and perhaps also some democrats or just anyone the rabble had come across. I think if either of those had happened, we'd be even more scared for our democracy now. Partly, I am worried that exactly that will happen in Coup 2.0. Maybe not a takeover, but more damage, more killing, more claims of an invalid election taken seriously.   Then, maybe 3.0 will be the real deal. I am wary of people who claim "it can't happen here" or various revised versions of that statement.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 08, 2022, 01:05:04 PM
The March on Rome this was not.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: downer on January 08, 2022, 01:22:22 PM
Given how many guns there are in the US and the levels of political rhetoric, I am surprised every day that there isn't considerably more political violence than there is.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Ruralguy on January 08, 2022, 02:06:09 PM
It was what it was. But it was pretty bad.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mamselle on January 08, 2022, 03:23:58 PM
The more info that comes in, the clearer it is that planning was not random or bottom-up only.

We will get past it safely only by taking it for the serious effort it was, and meting out consequences appropriately.

If that happens, we stand a chance.

If not, we're in trouble.

I'm hopeful we can get an incisive, clear report and reasonable action on the results.

But failing that, we'd do well to be worried.

My folks thought Nixon was just fine. For me, this is Lombardi's 《deja-vu all over again,》only much worse.

M.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 08, 2022, 05:37:41 PM
The March on Rome this was not.

Actually, it was a Schildbürgerstreich, an act of monumental dim-wittedness.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 08, 2022, 06:15:34 PM
Dismalist will never accept that there is a problem. Even if Republicans are successful next time in overturning the results of an election he will give some glib response about the founders and a smiley face. The normalization of political violence is a-ok with him. The lies about voter fraud and the idiotic conspiracy theories that have overtaken the Republican party are not a thing worth even mentioning. In his mind, there is no problem - it is all good.

Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: quasihumanist on January 08, 2022, 09:10:44 PM
Some of you think that government by a majority is qualitatively better than government by a minority, that there is something special about 50.1%.

I think government should ideally be by consensus, and the difference between government by 50.1% and government by 49.9% is exactly the same as the difference between government by 49.9% and government by 49.7%.

By that standard, we are in deep trouble, and have been in deep trouble for years, because no matter what there is a significant minority that refuses to compromise, so we cannot get government by anything close to 100%.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on January 08, 2022, 09:13:31 PM
Dismalist will never accept that there is a problem. Even if Republicans are successful next time in overturning the results of an election he will give some glib response about the founders and a smiley face. The normalization of political violence is a-ok with him. The lies about voter fraud and the idiotic conspiracy theories that have overtaken the Republican party are not a thing worth even mentioning. In his mind, there is no problem - it is all good.

If the demand for democracy is high enough, voters are free to vote with their feet! =-p
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 08, 2022, 09:43:40 PM
Dismalist will never accept that there is a problem. Even if Republicans are successful next time in overturning the results of an election he will give some glib response about the founders and a smiley face. The normalization of political violence is a-ok with him. The lies about voter fraud and the idiotic conspiracy theories that have overtaken the Republican party are not a thing worth even mentioning. In his mind, there is no problem - it is all good.

If the demand for democracy is high enough, voters are free to vote with their feet! =-p

That sort of thing actually works somewhat for sub-national units, at least in the United States. Alas, it doesn't work well among countries.

That's almost number three, Para! But you deserve a [small] break on this one. :-)
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 08, 2022, 09:47:48 PM
Some of you think that government by a majority is qualitatively better than government by a minority, that there is something special about 50.1%.

I think government should ideally be by consensus, and the difference between government by 50.1% and government by 49.9% is exactly the same as the difference between government by 49.9% and government by 49.7%.

By that standard, we are in deep trouble, and have been in deep trouble for years, because no matter what there is a significant minority that refuses to compromise, so we cannot get government by anything close to 100%.

'237 years ago, on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the 13 colonies to affirm that governments are constituted to secure natural, individual rights and that they “deriv[e] their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

And, that “whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.”'



Which people? The January 6 'insurgents' believed they were following the instructions in the constitution. Why trust the media after the 'Russian collusion' saga?
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 09, 2022, 06:03:16 AM
Dismalist will never accept that there is a problem.

I don't think that's the case. I take dismalist's responses as a reminder that situations like this, even though they are disturbing, are basically "noise and fury, signifying nothing". Seriously, how many people a year after the event think it was a good idea? And there's no sign whatsoever of it having brought about anything substantial.

The Arab Spring, it wasn't. And even that had a lot less long term impact than expected.
 
Some of you think that government by a majority is qualitatively better than government by a minority, that there is something special about 50.1%.

I think government should ideally be by consensus, and the difference between government by 50.1% and government by 49.9% is exactly the same as the difference between government by 49.9% and government by 49.7%.

By that standard, we are in deep trouble, and have been in deep trouble for years, because no matter what there is a significant minority that refuses to compromise, so we cannot get government by anything close to 100%.

Absolutely. As long as everything is viewed in tribal terms of winners and losers, rather than in terms of what kind of changes are good for society, regardless of whose "side" they're from, I don't see a way out.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 09, 2022, 07:30:23 AM
Dismalist will never accept that there is a problem.

I don't think that's the case. I take dismalist's responses as a reminder that situations like this, even though they are disturbing, are basically "noise and fury, signifying nothing". Seriously, how many people a year after the event think it was a good idea? And there's no sign whatsoever of it having brought about anything substantial.

The Arab Spring, it wasn't. And even that had a lot less long term impact than expected.
 
Some of you think that government by a majority is qualitatively better than government by a minority, that there is something special about 50.1%.

I think government should ideally be by consensus, and the difference between government by 50.1% and government by 49.9% is exactly the same as the difference between government by 49.9% and government by 49.7%.

By that standard, we are in deep trouble, and have been in deep trouble for years, because no matter what there is a significant minority that refuses to compromise, so we cannot get government by anything close to 100%.

Absolutely. As long as everything is viewed in tribal terms of winners and losers, rather than in terms of what kind of changes are good for society, regardless of whose "side" they're from, I don't see a way out.

Most Republican politicians refuse to say that Biden won the election and that Trump lost. Republicans at the state level are, in some cases, giving themselves permission to reject the vote count in their states and send their own set of electors to Congress. Most Republican voters believe there was massive voter fraud in the election. These are serious repercussions - not of January 6th, specifically, but of the conspiracy theories and lies that have overtaken one party in the two party system and that led up to January 6th. In general there is an overemphasis on the riot and an underemphasize on the lies that created it.

It is also important to acknowledge that there was a concerted political effort by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the election by pressuring VP to reject electors, demanding that governors "find votes," and pressuring officials to vote against certifying results. It is good that this did not work this time, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned that it will work in the future (or that Democrats will try to do the same thing).
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 09, 2022, 07:50:19 AM

It is also important to acknowledge that there was a concerted political effort by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the election by pressuring VP to reject electors, demanding that governors "find votes," and pressuring officials to vote against certifying results. It is good that this did not work this time, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned that it will work in the future (or that Democrats will try to do the same thing).

Has everyone forgotten all of the whining about the electoral college, that Clinton won the popular vote and so "should" be president, etc.? That was only ONE election ago!!!!!

BOTH sides need to grow up and respect the process.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 09, 2022, 07:57:40 AM

It is also important to acknowledge that there was a concerted political effort by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the election by pressuring VP to reject electors, demanding that governors "find votes," and pressuring officials to vote against certifying results. It is good that this did not work this time, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned that it will work in the future (or that Democrats will try to do the same thing).

Has everyone forgotten all of the whining about the electoral college, that Clinton won the popular vote and so "should" be president, etc.? That was only ONE election ago!!!!!

BOTH sides need to grow up and respect the process.

right. there is no such thing as 'winning the popular vote.' That's like saying 'I won the weigh in at the boxing match.' the phrase itself is misleading. Infused with agenda.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 09, 2022, 08:07:46 AM

It is also important to acknowledge that there was a concerted political effort by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the election by pressuring VP to reject electors, demanding that governors "find votes," and pressuring officials to vote against certifying results. It is good that this did not work this time, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned that it will work in the future (or that Democrats will try to do the same thing).

Has everyone forgotten all of the whining about the electoral college, that Clinton won the popular vote and so "should" be president, etc.? That was only ONE election ago!!!!!

BOTH sides need to grow up and respect the process.

Of course. I mentioned in almost every one of my posts in this thread that there is a danger that the Democrats also do not accept the results of elections. That said, there is a more serious problem on one side - that being the side whose political elites are largely advancing lies about voter fraud in an effort to delegitimize past and future elections.

Crucially, Democrats did not go to extrajudicial lengths to try to overturn the results of the 2016 election. There is an order of magnitude difference between complaining and trying to "find votes" or prevent the VP from accepting electors. But they could in the future, which is one reason why there should be bipartisan agreement on this.

Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 09, 2022, 08:12:48 AM

It is also important to acknowledge that there was a concerted political effort by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the election by pressuring VP to reject electors, demanding that governors "find votes," and pressuring officials to vote against certifying results. It is good that this did not work this time, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned that it will work in the future (or that Democrats will try to do the same thing).

Has everyone forgotten all of the whining about the electoral college, that Clinton won the popular vote and so "should" be president, etc.? That was only ONE election ago!!!!!

BOTH sides need to grow up and respect the process.

Of course. I mentioned in almost every one of my posts in this thread that there is a danger that the Democrats also do not accept the results of elections. That said, there is a more serious problem on one side - that being the side whose political elites are largely advancing lies about voter fraud in an effort to delegitimize past and future elections.

Again, the Democrats spend a lot of time complaining about voter suppression.

As long as both sides only "accept" results that favour them, the whole system suffers. The fact is that any election that is very close is one where voters were very divided, and THAT'S a big problem, regardless of who wins.

Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 09, 2022, 08:17:15 AM

It is also important to acknowledge that there was a concerted political effort by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the election by pressuring VP to reject electors, demanding that governors "find votes," and pressuring officials to vote against certifying results. It is good that this did not work this time, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned that it will work in the future (or that Democrats will try to do the same thing).

Has everyone forgotten all of the whining about the electoral college, that Clinton won the popular vote and so "should" be president, etc.? That was only ONE election ago!!!!!

BOTH sides need to grow up and respect the process.

Of course. I mentioned in almost every one of my posts in this thread that there is a danger that the Democrats also do not accept the results of elections. That said, there is a more serious problem on one side - that being the side whose political elites are largely advancing lies about voter fraud in an effort to delegitimize past and future elections.

Again, the Democrats spend a lot of time complaining about voter suppression.

As long as both sides only "accept" results that favour them, the whole system suffers. The fact is that any election that is very close is one where voters were very divided, and THAT'S a big problem, regardless of who wins.

There is nothing wrong with complaining about voter suppression. Saying one party is trying to advance policy that makes it more difficult to vote is different then saying, with zero evidence, there was massive fraud.

Look, there are problems on both sides, as I've said in many posts in this thread, but there is a bigger problem on one side.

And again, the Republicans tried to overturn the results of the last election. That is different than complaining about structural issues in the electoral system.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 09, 2022, 08:52:21 AM
Jerrymandering is an sin of both parties.

The Republicans have been far worse.

The Republicans tout "election integrity" and close balloting locations.  They enact laws which target certain demographics.

It is time to get rid of the Electoral College----although I understand the complexities of doing so and realize that it will not happen.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 09, 2022, 09:00:10 AM
Jerrymandering is an sin of both parties.

The Republicans have been far worse.

The Republicans tout "election integrity" and close balloting locations.  They enact laws which target certain demographics.


So is there any sort of movement to prevent jerrymandering by anyone? In principle, everyone should be in favour of it. A process that isn't dependent on who's in power should have broad support.

Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 09, 2022, 09:11:01 AM
Jerrymandering is an sin of both parties.

The Republicans have been far worse.

The Republicans tout "election integrity" and close balloting locations.  They enact laws which target certain demographics.


So is there any sort of movement to prevent jerrymandering by anyone? In principle, everyone should be in favour of it. A process that isn't dependent on who's in power should have broad support.

The SC ruled that it is not their jurisdiction. In theory, Congress could do it, but seems unlikely that they will. Some states have made some some good strides (e.g. Michigan) while others are going in the wrong direction.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 09, 2022, 09:37:13 AM

Again, the Democrats spend a lot of time complaining about voter suppression.

 

Funny they haven't complained that soaring street crime in urban areas might make people more reluctant to go the polls.
Funny, but not surprising, since soaring street crime is something they prefer to 'racist policing.'
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 09, 2022, 10:21:52 AM
Quote
It is time to get rid of the Electoral College----although I understand the complexities of doing so and realize that it will not happen.

Interestingly, among its many other advantages, the Electoral College serves also as a bastion against voter fraud.

Fraud will be most easily be committed by the party in power. Under current institutions, fraud will be contained to individual States, as different parties hold office in various jurisdictions. Under a popular vote for president, all the Dems gotta do is cheat in California and perhaps New York, and you've won.

[If we wanna whine about past elections, let's go back to 1960, when the Chicago margin for Jack Kennedy just happened to overcome the downstate margin for Tricky Dick. I believe they waited to report the result so they would know how much to cheat by. Nixon knew it, but didn't pursue it on account he didn't want the Soviet Union to get a bad impression of American democracy! Never thought I'd miss the Cold War.]


Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: jimbogumbo on January 09, 2022, 10:25:13 AM
Jerrymandering is an sin of both parties.

The Republicans have been far worse.

The Republicans tout "election integrity" and close balloting locations.  They enact laws which target certain demographics.


So is there any sort of movement to prevent jerrymandering by anyone? In principle, everyone should be in favour of it. A process that isn't dependent on who's in power should have broad support.

21 states are doing so:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redistricting_commission
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Anselm on January 09, 2022, 12:47:07 PM
I believe the state of democracy to be at best weak and in reality fraudulent for several reasons:

1) The system is rigged against third parties
2) Weak voter participation
3) Too much money is involved
4) "low information" voters
5) The news media picks a few favorites and gives them free advertising on the TV news, especially during presidential primaries.

I take the cynical view of Mencken that democracy is the illusion that you and I together have more power than Rockefeller.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Ruralguy on January 09, 2022, 12:51:07 PM
One person, one vote is so quaint. We all need to just be quiet and give in to the oligarchy I guess.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 09, 2022, 12:55:36 PM
One can see the same facts and infer different things:


I believe the state of democracy to be at best weak and in reality fraudulent for several reasons:

1) The system is rigged against third parties -- Yes, first-past-the-post makes them unnecessary. We don't want Weimar!
2) Weak voter participation -- Yes, there's so little at stake. Evidence of contentment.
3) Too much money is involved -- Less than for bubble gum advertising.
4) "low information" voters -- that's the only kind.
5) The news media picks a few favorites and gives them free advertising on the TV news, especially during presidential primaries. -- that, too, is us. We like garbage. Or, entertainment. But who watches TV anymore?

System is working.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 09, 2022, 02:13:19 PM
Quote
It is time to get rid of the Electoral College----although I understand the complexities of doing so and realize that it will not happen.

Interestingly, among its many other advantages, the Electoral College serves also as a bastion against voter fraud.


Conservatives know that without the Electoral College they would be done politically.  This is why they are so desperate to keep it. 
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 09, 2022, 02:34:15 PM
One person, one vote is so quaint. We all need to just be quiet and give in to the oligarchy I guess.

In any system with representatives, the number of votes in each district varies, so "one person, one vote" is misleading, to the extent that each person's vote doesn't carry equal weight.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 09, 2022, 02:42:19 PM
Quote
It is time to get rid of the Electoral College----although I understand the complexities of doing so and realize that it will not happen.

Interestingly, among its many other advantages, the Electoral College serves also as a bastion against voter fraud.


Conservatives know that without the Electoral College they would be done politically.  This is why they are so desperate to keep it.

The Electoral College helps prevent a tyranny of the majority. That is its most important function.

[Conservative? Speaking with Hayek, I am not a conservative.]
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: jimbogumbo on January 09, 2022, 03:18:27 PM
Quote
It is time to get rid of the Electoral College----although I understand the complexities of doing so and realize that it will not happen.

Interestingly, among its many other advantages, the Electoral College serves also as a bastion against voter fraud.


Conservatives know that without the Electoral College they would be done politically.  This is why they are so desperate to keep it.

The Electoral College helps prevent a tyranny of the majority. That is its most important function.

[Conservative? Speaking with Hayek, I am not a conservative.]

We wouldn't need the EC for that if we had ranked choice voting with the reshuffling technique (single-transferable) rules.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: downer on January 09, 2022, 03:22:57 PM
Quote
It is time to get rid of the Electoral College----although I understand the complexities of doing so and realize that it will not happen.

Interestingly, among its many other advantages, the Electoral College serves also as a bastion against voter fraud.


Conservatives know that without the Electoral College they would be done politically.  This is why they are so desperate to keep it.

The Electoral College helps prevent a tyranny of the majority. That is its most important function.

[Conservative? Speaking with Hayek, I am not a conservative.]

We wouldn't need the EC for that if we had ranked choice voting with the reshuffling technique (single-transferable) rules.

How many states have adopted this? How many might consider it in the next 50 years?
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Ruralguy on January 09, 2022, 03:23:04 PM
Why is tyranny of a minority better than tyranny of a majority?
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 09, 2022, 03:31:06 PM
Why is tyranny of a minority better than tyranny of a majority?

There is no tyranny of a minority here in the US as a whole, on account that too is hard to pull off, on account of the electoral college. If one finds a particular State tyrannical, one can move.

Let them compete to keep them in line.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: jimbogumbo on January 09, 2022, 03:35:15 PM
Quote
It is time to get rid of the Electoral College----although I understand the complexities of doing so and realize that it will not happen.

Interestingly, among its many other advantages, the Electoral College serves also as a bastion against voter fraud.


Conservatives know that without the Electoral College they would be done politically.  This is why they are so desperate to keep it.

The Electoral College helps prevent a tyranny of the majority. That is its most important function.

[Conservative? Speaking with Hayek, I am not a conservative.]

We wouldn't need the EC for that if we had ranked choice voting with the reshuffling technique (single-transferable) rules.

How many states have adopted this? How many might consider it in the next 50 years?

Current list of alternative voting rules:

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/06/29/more-u-s-locations-experimenting-with-alternative-voting-systems/
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: jimbogumbo on January 09, 2022, 03:39:20 PM
Why is tyranny of a minority better than tyranny of a majority?

There is no tyranny of a minority here in the US as a whole, on account that too is hard to pull off, on account of the electoral college. If one finds a particular State tyrannical, one can move.

Let them compete to keep them in line.

Since you hurt my feelings with that math slur of my character (the margin thing, even though I hadn't confused margin with totals:)), I'm back at you here. There is no tyranny of the minority if we count states, but certainly is if we use a registered voter as the unit.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: downer on January 09, 2022, 03:45:08 PM
Quote
It is time to get rid of the Electoral College----although I understand the complexities of doing so and realize that it will not happen.

Interestingly, among its many other advantages, the Electoral College serves also as a bastion against voter fraud.


Conservatives know that without the Electoral College they would be done politically.  This is why they are so desperate to keep it.

The Electoral College helps prevent a tyranny of the majority. That is its most important function.

[Conservative? Speaking with Hayek, I am not a conservative.]

We wouldn't need the EC for that if we had ranked choice voting with the reshuffling technique (single-transferable) rules.

How many states have adopted this? How many might consider it in the next 50 years?

Current list of alternative voting rules:

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/06/29/more-u-s-locations-experimenting-with-alternative-voting-systems/

Thanks. Informative. I'm not holding my breath for a national wave of enlightenment.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 09, 2022, 03:59:26 PM
If a political party keeps harping that the rules are wrong it means it doesn't see itself as winning with current rules.

The way to win is to adapt one's program to appeal to people less like oneself. The horror!

[My guess is that the Democratic Party, on average, doesn't see how it can form a national coalition of the winning, so we get this nonsense that the Republic is going down the tubes. It won't. Live with it.]
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 09, 2022, 04:29:41 PM
Quote
It is time to get rid of the Electoral College----although I understand the complexities of doing so and realize that it will not happen.

Interestingly, among its many other advantages, the Electoral College serves also as a bastion against voter fraud.


Conservatives know that without the Electoral College they would be done politically.  This is why they are so desperate to keep it.

Eric Adams, a democrat, is also a conservative. We'll take him. Conservative ideas will find a home, because conservative ideas are what life produces. We are all somewhat conservative, but only some of us deny it. My prediction (also hope) is the democratic party will splinter as people with common sense find each other and fight for a place at the table.

If a political party keeps harping that the rules are wrong it means it doesn't see itself as winning with current rules.

The way to win is to adapt one's program to appeal to people less like oneself. The horror!

[My guess is that the Democratic Party, on average, doesn't see how it can form a national coalition of the winning, so we get this nonsense that the Republic is going down the tubes. It won't. Live with it.]

+1
Sometimes seeing the people who've been the problem finding themselves in a panic is a good sign.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 09, 2022, 06:05:09 PM
[My guess is that the Democratic Party, on average, doesn't see how it can form a national coalition of the winning, so we get this nonsense that the Republic is going down the tubes. It won't. Live with it.]

It is not the Dems restricting voting access.

It was not the Dems attacking the Capitol.

[Interthreaduality]  It is not the Dems who have their own private special college with fundraising letters to strangers filling with lies and distortions.

It is not the Dems filling the airways and the Internet with angry propaganda.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 09, 2022, 06:21:30 PM
[My guess is that the Democratic Party, on average, doesn't see how it can form a national coalition of the winning, so we get this nonsense that the Republic is going down the tubes. It won't. Live with it.]

It is not the Dems restricting voting access.

It was not the Dems attacking the Capitol.

[Interthreaduality]  It is not the Dems who have their own private special college with fundraising letters to strangers filling with lies and distortions.

It is not the Dems filling the airways and the Internet with angry propaganda.

Angry propaganda! In the internet no less! The horror!

You can't win this way, friends.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 09, 2022, 08:26:36 PM
[My guess is that the Democratic Party, on average, doesn't see how it can form a national coalition of the winning, so we get this nonsense that the Republic is going down the tubes. It won't. Live with it.]

It is not the Dems restricting voting access.

It was not the Dems attacking the Capitol.

[Interthreaduality]  It is not the Dems who have their own private special college with fundraising letters to strangers filling with lies and distortions.

It is not the Dems filling the airways and the Internet with angry propaganda.

It is the Dems, not the repubs, who are deciding for all of us that black lives are more important than white lives. Yes, with consequences.

https://www.city-journal.org/racial-essentialism-corrupts-medicine

https://www.persuasion.community/p/race-isnt-a-risk-factor
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 09, 2022, 08:34:33 PM
Conservatives in this thread need to get a grip on reality. Republicans literally tried to overturn the results of a free and fair national election. They spread lies about voter fraud and all kinds of other idiotic conspiracy theories that are now mainstream in the party. Most of their party leaders refuse to acknowledge that Trump lost the election or to condemn the insurrectionists that attacked the Capital building. This is not politics as usual.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 10, 2022, 04:35:39 AM
Conservatives in this thread need to get a grip on reality. Republicans literally tried to overturn the results of a free and fair national election.

According to Gallup, in 2021, percentages of American voters:

For either party to win, they have to win a majority of independents. If they lose, it's because they didn't appeal to enough independents. APPEALING TO MODERATES IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR EVERYONE. Catering to the extremists on either end is not a winning strategy.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: downer on January 10, 2022, 04:52:29 AM
Lose in a democratic election? The point is that they may be a thing of the past.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 10, 2022, 06:07:38 AM
Lose in a democratic election? The point is that they may be a thing of the past.

Aside from the hyperbole, this misses the point I was making:
According to Gallup, in 2021, percentages of American voters:
  • Republican 31%
  • Democrat 27%
  • Independent 41%

For either party to win, they have to win a majority of independents. If they lose, it's because they didn't appeal to enough independents. APPEALING TO MODERATES IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR EVERYONE. Catering to the extremists on either end is not a winning strategy.

Moving to the centre makes it much easier for a party to win by enough votes to avoid all kinds of whining from the other side. Contested elections are the result of parties catering more to their fringes than to the mainstream voters.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 10, 2022, 06:33:25 AM
Lose in a democratic election? The point is that they may be a thing of the past.

Aside from the hyperbole, this misses the point I was making:
According to Gallup, in 2021, percentages of American voters:
  • Republican 31%
  • Democrat 27%
  • Independent 41%

For either party to win, they have to win a majority of independents. If they lose, it's because they didn't appeal to enough independents. APPEALING TO MODERATES IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR EVERYONE. Catering to the extremists on either end is not a winning strategy.

Moving to the centre makes it much easier for a party to win by enough votes to avoid all kinds of whining from the other side. Contested elections are the result of parties catering more to their fringes than to the mainstream voters.

Don't you usually win an election by using the plan that appears most likely to work? We don't care that much how loud they whine, long as they lose.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: waterboy on January 10, 2022, 06:35:07 AM
Except that certain "extremists" won't accept the result of a fair election if the independents don't vote their way.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 10, 2022, 06:39:50 AM
Except that certain "extremists" won't accept the result of a fair election if the independents don't vote their way.

And by definition, there are many fewer of them. The bigger the majority of voters who accept the outcome, the less the whining of a lunatic fringe matters.

TWITTER IS NOT REALITY. Despite how many people who should know better, including journalists, act as though it is.

Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 10, 2022, 06:49:09 AM
Conservatives in this thread need to get a grip on reality. Republicans literally tried to overturn the results of a free and fair national election.

According to Gallup, in 2021, percentages of American voters:
  • Republican 31%
  • Democrat 27%
  • Independent 41%

For either party to win, they have to win a majority of independents. If they lose, it's because they didn't appeal to enough independents. APPEALING TO MODERATES IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR EVERYONE. Catering to the extremists on either end is not a winning strategy.

Ok? What does this have to do with the my post?

I'm sure we agree that appealing to moderates is a smart political strategy in general elections, but that is not the issue here.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 10, 2022, 06:52:31 AM
Conservatives in this thread need to get a grip on reality. Republicans literally tried to overturn the results of a free and fair national election.

According to Gallup, in 2021, percentages of American voters:
  • Republican 31%
  • Democrat 27%
  • Independent 41%

For either party to win, they have to win a majority of independents. If they lose, it's because they didn't appeal to enough independents. APPEALING TO MODERATES IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR EVERYONE. Catering to the extremists on either end is not a winning strategy.

Ok? What does this have to do with the my post?

I'm sure we agree that appealing to moderates is a smart political strategy in general elections, but that is not the issue here.

My point is that the pattern of grumbling from the losing side will continue, and potentially get even worse, unless and until both parties come to their senses and stop courting the fringe and instead focus on the mainstream. (Whichever party does it first should be able to clean up in an election.)

Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Ruralguy on January 10, 2022, 07:01:56 AM
I think both Democrats and Republicans have some serious issues to  confront if they are to consistently win elections (though obviously someone has to win, so its a matter of which consistently wins, not whether or not one or the other will eventually win). Republicans, most immediately, have a Trump problem, and with it, kind of a meandering ideology problem.
Sometimes they seem mainly fiscally centered ( lower taxes, lower spending, etc.) and other times, and probably most of the time under Trump, regardless of his stock market fixation, more getting into culture wars.  The Democrats have a serious issue with division of their ranks, with the Squad et al on one side, and Spanberger, Luria, some other House critters, Sinema, Manchin on the other.  Fair or not, Biden is taking the blame on this division, as well as inflation, corona, Afghanistan (which is weird, because nobody wanted us to really stay there) and whatever else. I am trying to analyze it with some distance, and in doing so, I don't really see one side consistently having an advantage, though since Dems are in control now, its easier for them to be blamed and thus lose in some way. The Republicans biggest vulnerability is unforced errors from Trump (yes, even with him out). Their second biggest would be fixation on relatively minor issues such as critical race theory ( I mean minor in terms of the vast array of issues---not that it isn't a worthy topic). it might help win a local race or two, but nationally, I don't think it will cut it in the end. 
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 10, 2022, 07:12:06 AM
Conservatives in this thread need to get a grip on reality. Republicans literally tried to overturn the results of a free and fair national election.

According to Gallup, in 2021, percentages of American voters:
  • Republican 31%
  • Democrat 27%
  • Independent 41%

For either party to win, they have to win a majority of independents. If they lose, it's because they didn't appeal to enough independents. APPEALING TO MODERATES IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR EVERYONE. Catering to the extremists on either end is not a winning strategy.

Ok? What does this have to do with the my post?

I'm sure we agree that appealing to moderates is a smart political strategy in general elections, but that is not the issue here.

My point is that the pattern of grumbling from the losing side will continue, and potentially get even worse, unless and until both parties come to their senses and stop courting the fringe and instead focus on the mainstream. (Whichever party does it first should be able to clean up in an election.)


Republican grumbling has morphed into a series of lies and conspiracy theories about voter fraud that have gone mainstream in the party and that are threatening our democratic institutions. You, as a "moderates are always better guy," should be horrified by this, but instead you keep hand waving it away by saying both sides are bad. Sure, Democrats have their extreme wing and they are not helping Democrats electorally, but they are not a clear and present threat to democracy the way that the Republican extremists have become.

And look, you have to stop dancing around this: Republicans tried to overturn the results of the last election. They egged on an attack on the capital. Most House Rs voted against certifying election results, based on fraud claims that have no basis in reality. Most Rs in Congress are still unwilling to acknowledge that Trump lost the election or to denounce the capital attackers. At the state level, Rs are trying to make rules that will allow their partisans to interfere with the certification processes. This is not a TWITTER issue - this is really happening.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 10, 2022, 07:39:23 AM

And look, you have to stop dancing around this: Republicans tried to overturn the results of the last election. They egged on an attack on the capital. Most House Rs voted against certifying election results, based on fraud claims that have no basis in reality. Most Rs in Congress are still unwilling to acknowledge that Trump lost the election or to denounce the capital attackers. At the state level, Rs are trying to make rules that will allow their partisans to interfere with the certification processes. This is not a TWITTER issue - this is really happening.

Just a reminder; I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm not even American. But the more time spent harping about the past (by either party) rather than focusing on the future, the more likely things are to get worse rather than better.

Let me provide a Canadian cautionary tale.
Leading up to the election in Fall 2021, the Conservative party was actually in the lead for a while. However, the leader was pushed on whether all MPs would be required to be vaccinated to serve in the House of Commons. The leader, who was fully vaccinated, refused to say. Over 70% of Canadians were vaccinated at that time, and the majority favoured requiring vaccinations. After that, the Conservatives lost ground and lost the election.

TRYING TO NOT ALIENATE THE SMALL FRINGE COST THE SUPPORT OF THE MAINSTREAM. That hill was not worth dying on. (And eventually, after the election, the leader required that MPs be vaccinated. Too little, too late.)


A party that supports policies that most people see as sane and reasonable, and that rejects the rhetoric of the extremist loonies, will do better than one that courts the loonies in the long run. Courting the loonies may result in a win, but it's a bigger gamble than appealing to the much bigger population of moderates.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 10, 2022, 07:49:10 AM

And look, you have to stop dancing around this: Republicans tried to overturn the results of the last election. They egged on an attack on the capital. Most House Rs voted against certifying election results, based on fraud claims that have no basis in reality. Most Rs in Congress are still unwilling to acknowledge that Trump lost the election or to denounce the capital attackers. At the state level, Rs are trying to make rules that will allow their partisans to interfere with the certification processes. This is not a TWITTER issue - this is really happening.

Just a reminder; I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm not even American. But the more time spent harping about the past (by either party) rather than focusing on the future, the more likely things are to get worse rather than better.

Let me provide a Canadian cautionary tale.
Leading up to the election in Fall 2021, the Conservative party was actually in the lead for a while. However, the leader was pushed on whether all MPs would be required to be vaccinated to serve in the House of Commons. The leader, who was fully vaccinated, refused to say. Over 70% of Canadians were vaccinated at that time, and the majority favoured requiring vaccinations. After that, the Conservatives lost ground and lost the election.

TRYING TO NOT ALIENATE THE SMALL FRINGE COST THE SUPPORT OF THE MAINSTREAM. That hill was not worth dying on. (And eventually, after the election, the leader required that MPs be vaccinated. Too little, too late.)


A party that supports policies that most people see as sane and reasonable, and that rejects the rhetoric of the extremist loonies, will do better than one that courts the loonies in the long run. Courting the loonies may result in a win, but it's a bigger gamble than appealing to the much bigger population of moderates.

You're making a point about electoral politics - winning elections by appealing to moderates - and that is a fine point that I mostly agree with. But that is not the focus of this thread or of my post, which are focused on the ongoing attacks on the democratic system. If the democratic system is effectively undermined or dismantled, then playing to moderates or giving a forward looking message won't matter. That is the issue here.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 10, 2022, 08:22:05 AM


You're making a point about electoral politics - winning elections by appealing to moderates - and that is a fine point that I mostly agree with. But that is not the focus of this thread or of my post, which are focused on the ongoing attacks on the democratic system. If the democratic system is effectively undermined or dismantled, then playing to moderates or giving a forward looking message won't matter. That is the issue here.

But that's exactly the point; what undermines the democratic system is people from different parties trying to focus on what divides people rather than on what unites them.  The more parties spend their time on actions for which there is broad consensus, the safer the system is. If one party doesn't want to do this, then they will ultimately lose to the party more willing to do this.

Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Istiblennius on January 10, 2022, 08:29:29 AM
One would think that making sure everyone can vote as easily as possible would be unifying, but it is not. And that is because one party has declared, openly, that if every American could vote they would never win another election. So rather than considering how they could package their ideas or modify them a bit to meet the needs of the broader consituency, they openly try to stack the deck, and then if that doesn't do the trick they resort to violence.
The argument that Dems are terrible communicators is legit. They are. The argument that some of the progressive Dems are too far left for much of the country is legit. The argument that both parties are equally bad for democracy is a logical fallacy of what aboutism and that logical fallacy is probably the most dangerous threat to our democracy. It is time to stop pretending that what is happening with some (not all - I love you Mike Murphy!) of the republican party is normal.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: downer on January 10, 2022, 08:36:11 AM
The Republicans have Fascists among them. Yet people don't say that makes them unelectable.

It's fine for a party to include a wide range of opinion.

I am curious as to why in the US, democratic socialism is more scary than fascism.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Parasaurolophus on January 10, 2022, 08:57:27 AM
The Republicans have Fascists among them. Yet people don't say that makes them unelectable.

It's fine for a party to include a wide range of opinion.

I am curious as to why in the US, democratic socialism is more scary than fascism.

I assume it's decades of cold war messaging.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 10, 2022, 08:58:44 AM
The Republicans have Fascists among them. Yet people don't say that makes them unelectable.

It's fine for a party to include a wide range of opinion.

I am curious as to why in the US, democratic socialism is more scary than fascism.

Cuba, China, and North Korea are examples of communism. ( "Socialism" is the term communists use to describe themselves. Most of the countries Americans mean when they say "socialist" are actual social democracies, NOT socialist.) What examples do people have of an existing fascist government? Russia?
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 10, 2022, 09:10:52 AM
Lose in a democratic election? The point is that they may be a thing of the past.

Aside from the hyperbole, this misses the point I was making:
According to Gallup, in 2021, percentages of American voters:
  • Republican 31%
  • Democrat 27%
  • Independent 41%

For either party to win, they have to win a majority of independents. If they lose, it's because they didn't appeal to enough independents. APPEALING TO MODERATES IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR EVERYONE. Catering to the extremists on either end is not a winning strategy.

Moving to the centre makes it much easier for a party to win by enough votes to avoid all kinds of whining from the other side. Contested elections are the result of parties catering more to their fringes than to the mainstream voters.

Marshy, I gotta say, I am appreciating your commentary these days. 

ALL POWER TO THE MODERATES!!!!
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 10, 2022, 09:16:02 AM


You're making a point about electoral politics - winning elections by appealing to moderates - and that is a fine point that I mostly agree with. But that is not the focus of this thread or of my post, which are focused on the ongoing attacks on the democratic system. If the democratic system is effectively undermined or dismantled, then playing to moderates or giving a forward looking message won't matter. That is the issue here.

But that's exactly the point; what undermines the democratic system is people from different parties trying to focus on what divides people rather than on what unites them.  The more parties spend their time on actions for which there is broad consensus, the safer the system is. If one party doesn't want to do this, then they will ultimately lose to the party more willing to do this.

There are many things that undermine democracy. I am happy to agree that one thing is a lack of bipartisan cooperation. However, the most direct and immediate threat to the US democratic system is Republicans having attempted to overthrow the results of a free and fair election, and ongoing steps to make that attempt successful next time. Democracy is holding and respecting free and fair elections, and Republicans are attacking that at this moment. This is not the past, it is the present. It is not a partisan issue that we requires compromise or that we should ignore because it divides people, it is a reality that is verified by reporting and by the admission of the very conspirators that tried to carry this out.

You seem unwilling to engage with this, and instead keep going back to a general statement of "both sides should do better." We agree that both sides should do better on many things, but in this case there it is one side (the Republicans) that are attacking the infrastructure of democracy. If you refuse to engage on this point, then then you are choosing to ignore the most crucial and immediate threat to democracy in America.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: downer on January 10, 2022, 09:17:53 AM
I've never heard of a Democrat who wasn't a moderate.

None of them in the last 40 years has yet proposed nationalizing the major industries or abolishing inheritance and private education. They don't even propose depriving churches of their tax-exempt status.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 10, 2022, 09:43:24 AM
Quote
Democracy is holding and respecting free and fair elections, and Republicans are attacking that at this moment.

With the exception of the moronic storming of the Capitol, all this is words, not deeds. And that event will forgotten sooner, not later.

Republicans questioning vote counts after the 2020 election wound up in court. Republicans won no cases, even before judges appointed by Republicans. They were peaceably resolved. War of words.

Trump calling: Find more votes. That's what politicians do when they're on the losing side!

Republicans voting against certification of the Electoral College numbers. Well! Only in 2017 did some Democrats try the same. Turned out they hadn't read the rules. VP Joe Biden, then presiding, had the sense to admonish one with: It's over! Pure posturing. Just woids.

[Changing voting eligibility? That's not just woids. Both sides wish to do that. But that's normal.]

Alas, there is nothing to get excited about.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 10, 2022, 09:47:08 AM
Quote
Democracy is holding and respecting free and fair elections, and Republicans are attacking that at this moment.

With the exception of the moronic storming of the Capitol, all this is words, not deeds. And that event will forgotten sooner, not later.

Republicans questioning vote counts after the 2020 election wound up in court. Republicans won no cases, even before judges appointed by Republicans. They were peaceably resolved. War of words.

Trump calling: Find more votes. That's what politicians do when they're on the losing side!

Republicans voting against certification of the Electoral College numbers. Well! Only in 2017 did some Democrats try the same. Turned out they hadn't read the rules. VP Joe Biden, then presiding, had the sense to admonish one with: It's over! Pure posturing. Just woids.

[Changing voting eligibility? That's not just woids. Both sides wish to do that. But that's normal.]

Alas, there is nothing to get excited about.

In NYC illegal aliens can elect a mayor now. 

I suspect the 2022 red wave wipeout will be so pronounced there won't be much bickering.

ETA:

This is kind of crap the democrats are writing, and the public isn't buying it; i.e. 'you accept exactly what we propose for districting, etc. or you are intentionally subverting democracy.' There's no recognition that it's a conflict of interests and there are two sides. That's what the lie is. I am not aware of any law stating that the African American vote has to be consolidated for maximum effect or it's voter suppression and subverting democracy.
Racist! Racist! is just so tired.
I notice they've referred to CRT without using the term. Shrewd!
https://washingtonmonthly.com/2022/01/08/georgia-republicans-are-scheming-to-subvert-the-will-of-voters/

Wake-up call to democrats: teacher's unions are rapidly becoming public enemy number one. Time to get your special ass dressed, get out the door, go to school and teach the kids in the room like they're paying for. Life involves risk, folks.
https://wirepoints.org/six-sources-of-chicago-teachers-union-power/
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: jimbogumbo on January 10, 2022, 11:44:20 AM
Quote
Democracy is holding and respecting free and fair elections, and Republicans are attacking that at this moment.

With the exception of the moronic storming of the Capitol, all this is words, not deeds. And that event will forgotten sooner, not later.

Republicans questioning vote counts after the 2020 election wound up in court. Republicans won no cases, even before judges appointed by Republicans. They were peaceably resolved. War of words.

Trump calling: Find more votes. That's what politicians do when they're on the losing side!

Republicans voting against certification of the Electoral College numbers. Well! Only in 2017 did some Democrats try the same. Turned out they hadn't read the rules. VP Joe Biden, then presiding, had the sense to admonish one with: It's over! Pure posturing. Just woids.

[Changing voting eligibility? That's not just woids. Both sides wish to do that. But that's normal.]

Alas, there is nothing to get excited about.

In NYC illegal aliens can elect a mayor now. 

I suspect the 2022 red wave wipeout will be so pronounced there won't be much bickering.

ETA:

This is kind of crap the democrats are writing, and the public isn't buying it; i.e. 'you accept exactly what we propose for districting, etc. or you are intentionally subverting democracy.' There's no recognition that it's a conflict of interests and there are two sides. That's what the lie is. I am not aware of any law stating that the African American vote has to be consolidated for maximum effect or it's voter suppression and subverting democracy.
Racist! Racist! is just so tired.
I notice they've referred to CRT without using the term. Shrewd!
https://washingtonmonthly.com/2022/01/08/georgia-republicans-are-scheming-to-subvert-the-will-of-voters/

Wake-up call to democrats: teacher's unions are rapidly becoming public enemy number one. Time to get your special ass dressed, get out the door, go to school and teach the kids in the room like they're paying for. Life involves risk, folks.
https://wirepoints.org/six-sources-of-chicago-teachers-union-power/

Perhaps this will help:https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IN/IN11618
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 10, 2022, 12:06:46 PM


There are many things that undermine democracy. I am happy to agree that one thing is a lack of bipartisan cooperation. However, the most direct and immediate threat to the US democratic system is Republicans having attempted to overthrow the results of a free and fair election, and ongoing steps to make that attempt successful next time.

68% percent of Americans (i.e. a strong majority) think the election was fair. MOVE ON!
Most Americans think closed borders (i.e. no immigration) and open borders are both crazy. MOVE ON!
Most Americans think "defunding the police" is a dumb idea. MOVE ON!
Most Americans believe that people who say "climate change is a myth" and those who say "quit fossil fuels today" are both nuts. MOVE ON!


It's a totally senseless waste of time to endlessly try to convince an entrenched minority about what they "should" think when the majority already accept something reasonable.

Common sense positions on all kinds of issues could be easily established if people would just tell the shrill extremists, including (especially) those on "their own side" that they're out of touch with reality.

One of the things I liked about Obama when he was president was his refusal to go to extremes on all kinds of issues. Sadly, it seems he's gone more partisan and woke since then. (To be fair, some of that was no doubt a response to Trump, but it's still regrettable.)

 
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 10, 2022, 01:18:08 PM
Quote
One of the things I liked about Obama when he was president was his refusal to go to extremes on all kinds of issues. Sadly, it seems he's gone more partisan and woke since then.

He's no longer President. He can afford to move further away from the median.

It is a real puzzle to me how the Democrats are acting, bowing to their own left.

I'm guessing the median voter is different over issues and it's hard for the Democrats to put together a package for him or her without alienating their own committed  nut jobs. They're afraid, for good reason. Take, e.g., the VA election of 2021: Teachers' unions are all Democratic, but the Democratic parent voters in the  'burbs went against the educational establishment!

Hence, all the hubbub about the Republic going down the tubes, as it's the only thing they can agree upon.

The Democrats need Trump more than the Republicans do! :-)
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Ruralguy on January 10, 2022, 01:45:23 PM
Well, you could probably run with "both parties need Trump" and make a good case of it, or "neither of them really need him, so just move on and let the voters decide on the issues." I'm more inclined to hope for the latter, though I doubt that "the issues" which will be focused on will satisfy me much (there will still be plenty of culture war and cries of socialism, etc.).

My guess as to why many establishment Democrats would rather try to satisfy the left of their party than the right is because they see that the left are young and from urban areas in traditional blue states. The right tend to be older (though not by a lot, unless they are senators) and from redder/purpler areas. There's more of a chance the latter and not the former will be picked off in the next election. Of course the establishment could side more with the party's right and help save them, but I sense many think that its a lost cause for now.  I personally don't think so, but perhaps Pelosi and others do.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 10, 2022, 01:59:19 PM
Quote
Democracy is holding and respecting free and fair elections, and Republicans are attacking that at this moment.

With the exception of the moronic storming of the Capitol, all this is words, not deeds. And that event will forgotten sooner, not later.

Republicans questioning vote counts after the 2020 election wound up in court. Republicans won no cases, even before judges appointed by Republicans. They were peaceably resolved. War of words.

Trump calling: Find more votes. That's what politicians do when they're on the losing side!

Republicans voting against certification of the Electoral College numbers. Well! Only in 2017 did some Democrats try the same. Turned out they hadn't read the rules. VP Joe Biden, then presiding, had the sense to admonish one with: It's over! Pure posturing. Just woids.

[Changing voting eligibility? That's not just woids. Both sides wish to do that. But that's normal.]

Alas, there is nothing to get excited about.

In NYC illegal aliens can elect a mayor now. 

I suspect the 2022 red wave wipeout will be so pronounced there won't be much bickering.

ETA:

This is kind of crap the democrats are writing, and the public isn't buying it; i.e. 'you accept exactly what we propose for districting, etc. or you are intentionally subverting democracy.' There's no recognition that it's a conflict of interests and there are two sides. That's what the lie is. I am not aware of any law stating that the African American vote has to be consolidated for maximum effect or it's voter suppression and subverting democracy.
Racist! Racist! is just so tired.
I notice they've referred to CRT without using the term. Shrewd!
https://washingtonmonthly.com/2022/01/08/georgia-republicans-are-scheming-to-subvert-the-will-of-voters/

Wake-up call to democrats: teacher's unions are rapidly becoming public enemy number one. Time to get your special ass dressed, get out the door, go to school and teach the kids in the room like they're paying for. Life involves risk, folks.
https://wirepoints.org/six-sources-of-chicago-teachers-union-power/

Perhaps this will help:https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IN/IN11618

Yes. Thank you.

Quote
One of the things I liked about Obama when he was president was his refusal to go to extremes on all kinds of issues. Sadly, it seems he's gone more partisan and woke since then.

He's no longer President. He can afford to move further away from the median.

It is a real puzzle to me how the Democrats are acting, bowing to their own left.


Only thing I can figure is that so many of their issues are a litmus test for a person establishing that they are not a bigot. So they've painted themselves into a corner. They have bullied themselves into submission.



Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: pgher on January 10, 2022, 02:12:06 PM
With the exception of the moronic storming of the Capitol, all this is words, not deeds. And that event will forgotten sooner, not later.

Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

Yes, all politicians act in their own self-interest. Only one group attempted to physically attack the democratic process itself.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 10, 2022, 03:14:46 PM
With the exception of the moronic storming of the Capitol, all this is words, not deeds. And that event will forgotten sooner, not later.

Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

Yes, all politicians act in their own self-interest. Only one group attempted to physically attack the democratic process itself.

I think that's all the Democrats have, and I don't think it mattered for the system. The system worked well, as explicated above.

Everyone is free to make more of Jan 6, 2021 than I do. I merely suspect that dwelling on it is preaching to the choir.

The message I get is: Republicans bad. Oh my god, what news!
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: pgher on January 10, 2022, 05:53:03 PM
With the exception of the moronic storming of the Capitol, all this is words, not deeds. And that event will forgotten sooner, not later.

Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

Yes, all politicians act in their own self-interest. Only one group attempted to physically attack the democratic process itself.

I think that's all the Democrats have, and I don't think it mattered for the system. The system worked well, as explicated above.

Everyone is free to make more of Jan 6, 2021 than I do. I merely suspect that dwelling on it is preaching to the choir.

The message I get is: Republicans bad. Oh my god, what news!

A response that I would have welcomed, and that would have changed my opinion of the Republican party, is if the prevailing sentiment that week (speeches by McConnell and Graham, for example) had morphed into a repudiation of political violence and an affirmation of the importance of following the unwritten rules of democracy. What we got instead was a quick about-face and return to the pattern of behavior that led to Jan. 6.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 10, 2022, 05:55:25 PM
With the exception of the moronic storming of the Capitol, all this is words, not deeds. And that event will forgotten sooner, not later.

Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

Yes, all politicians act in their own self-interest. Only one group attempted to physically attack the democratic process itself.

I think that's all the Democrats have, and I don't think it mattered for the system. The system worked well, as explicated above.

Everyone is free to make more of Jan 6, 2021 than I do. I merely suspect that dwelling on it is preaching to the choir.

The message I get is: Republicans bad. Oh my god, what news!

A response that I would have welcomed, and that would have changed my opinion of the Republican party, is if the prevailing sentiment that week (speeches by McConnell and Graham, for example) had morphed into a repudiation of political violence and an affirmation of the importance of following the unwritten rules of democracy. What we got instead was a quick about-face and return to the pattern of behavior that led to Jan. 6.

I guess some people don't like the Republican party. No need to change one's opinion.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 11, 2022, 07:35:34 AM
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.

Dismalist's comment says it all: Trump called for more votes to be found, that's what politicians do, no big deal! Of course, Dismalist doesn't clarify that Trump's call for more votes was a literal phone call in which he put pressure on the Georgia secretary of state to magically and, presumably illegally, create votes. No big deal! Trump also made unfounded claims of fraud that sparked a riot, but hey no biggie! The Republican party has become largely radicalized, but hey that's just politics! Let's move on!

No political order lasts forever and America's democratic system will inevitably fall apart. The question is when. We can just ignore it and say "nothing to worry about" when there is an attack on democratic institutions, but sooner or later those attacks will be successful. I hope this thread ages poorly and the current and ongoing attacks don't amount to anything this time, but the general apathy of the public and insistence by conservatives (including moderate conservatives) that we look away are not good signs.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: little bongo on January 11, 2022, 07:50:54 AM
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.

Dismalist's comment says it all: Trump called for more votes to be found, that's what politicians do, no big deal! Of course, Dismalist doesn't clarify that Trump's call for more votes was a literal phone call in which he put pressure on the Georgia secretary of state to magically and, presumably illegally, create votes. No big deal! Trump also made unfounded claims of fraud that sparked a riot, but hey no biggie! The Republican party has become largely radicalized, but hey that's just politics! Let's move on!

No political order lasts forever and America's democratic system will inevitably fall apart. The question is when. We can just ignore it and say "nothing to worry about" when there is an attack on democratic institutions, but sooner or later those attacks will be successful. I hope this thread ages poorly and the current and ongoing attacks don't amount to anything this time, but the general apathy of the public and insistence by conservatives (including moderate conservatives) that we look away are not good signs.

This. Well put, Sun_Worshiper.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 11, 2022, 08:06:04 AM
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.


There are all kinds of things, including those you've listed, that merit concern. However, if the proposed solution is to effectively operate as a one-party state, then that makes "democracy" just some sort of window dressing. In several decades, as I have told my kids many times, there has not been a single election (at any level) where I was entirely happy with my choice. That s reality.

As far as Trump and others' efforts to interfere in the democratic process, obnoxious as I find them, I feel that the best thing the Democrats could do is to move forward and present an ethical alternative that reflects the views of the majority of the electorate, rather than doing the same kind of thing as Trump and doubling down with the more extreme elements in their own party.

One thing to note: Trump was the best thing that happened to much of the media, whose rating$ $kyrocketted as every day people would tune in to watch the train wreck. The worst thing for them would be to get a Republican candidate who was as charismatic as Biden.

They have a vested interest in keeping the focus on Trump for the audience, whether that is in the best interest of the country and/or democracy or not.
(Court cases for Jan.6 rioters can proceed whether the media covers them or not. How much news coverage they get depends on how many eyeballs they can generate, not on how intrinsically "important" they are.)
 
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: apl68 on January 11, 2022, 08:08:18 AM
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.

I acknowledge your concern.  It is deeply concerning that so much of the Republican party and its supporters are still in thrall to Trump.  Let's be fair--the real Trump nuts, the ones storming the Capitol and generating fake news and trolling anybody and everybody (Including the Fora's own resident troll) are in the minority.  But the majority has failed to forcefully repudiate that minority, and that's simply not right. 

Here's the thing, though--part of the reason why so many conservatives feel a need to hang together despite everything is because they are deeply, deeply afraid of what could happen to them if they don't.  And it is not right to dismiss their fears as nothing but the product of brainwashing by fake news.  I get my news from mainstream sources.  And in these mainstream sources I saw a failure in some quarters to repudiate the widespread political violence that occurred last year with BLM.  I've seen calls on the opinion pages of the NYT to unseat certain Republican members of Congress--democratically elected members of Congress--in the belief that they don't deserve to be there.  I've seen substantial segments of leftist opinion positioning themselves to claim that the midterm losses that they likely face this year are the result of elections stolen through voter suppression and gerrymandering--in other words, denying that election results are legitimate. 

Loss of support for the democratic process is not confined to one party.  It's more acute among Republican supporters, yes, but it's not limited to them.  Democracy can only function if the different factions within it recognize each other's fundamental legitimacy, even if they disagree.  And I don't see either of the principal partisan sides in the U.S. doing that anymore.  Neither Republicans nor Democrats seem willing to accept that the other side might have a right to win elections.  The other side is evil, and has no right to wield power, and can only have succeeded because they did something to steal the election. 

Hate is ultimately a product of fear.  The more the two sides fall into this mutual fear and loathing, the more they will hate each other.  Hate hurts democracy, and everything else.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 11, 2022, 08:11:09 AM
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.


There are all kinds of things, including those you've listed, that merit concern. However, if the proposed solution is to effectively operate as a one-party state, then that makes "democracy" just some sort of window dressing. In several decades, as I have told my kids many times, there has not been a single election (at any level) where I was entirely happy with my choice. That s reality.

As far as Trump and others' efforts to interfere in the democratic process, obnoxious as I find them, I feel that the best thing the Democrats could do is to move forward and present an ethical alternative that reflects the views of the majority of the electorate, rather than doing the same kind of thing as Trump and doubling down with the more extreme elements in their own party.

One thing to note: Trump was the best thing that happened to much of the media, whose rating$ $kyrocketted as every day people would tune in to watch the train wreck. The worst thing for them would be to get a Republican candidate who was as charismatic as Biden.

They have a vested interest in keeping the focus on Trump for the audience, whether that is in the best interest of the country and/or democracy or not.
(Court cases for Jan.6 rioters can proceed whether the media covers them or not. How much news coverage they get depends on how many eyeballs they can generate, not on how intrinsically "important" they are.)

Who proposed the bolded is the solution? It certainly wasn't me.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 11, 2022, 08:15:40 AM
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.


There are all kinds of things, including those you've listed, that merit concern. However, if the proposed solution is to effectively operate as a one-party state, then that makes "democracy" just some sort of window dressing. In several decades, as I have told my kids many times, there has not been a single election (at any level) where I was entirely happy with my choice. That s reality.

As far as Trump and others' efforts to interfere in the democratic process, obnoxious as I find them, I feel that the best thing the Democrats could do is to move forward and present an ethical alternative that reflects the views of the majority of the electorate, rather than doing the same kind of thing as Trump and doubling down with the more extreme elements in their own party.

One thing to note: Trump was the best thing that happened to much of the media, whose rating$ $kyrocketted as every day people would tune in to watch the train wreck. The worst thing for them would be to get a Republican candidate who was as charismatic as Biden.

They have a vested interest in keeping the focus on Trump for the audience, whether that is in the best interest of the country and/or democracy or not.
(Court cases for Jan.6 rioters can proceed whether the media covers them or not. How much news coverage they get depends on how many eyeballs they can generate, not on how intrinsically "important" they are.)

Who proposed the bolded is the solution? It certainly wasn't me.

As apl68 indicated, any party that views the other as inherently evil and who must be prevented from holding power by any means possible is essentially proposing that.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 11, 2022, 08:29:02 AM
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.


There are all kinds of things, including those you've listed, that merit concern. However, if the proposed solution is to effectively operate as a one-party state, then that makes "democracy" just some sort of window dressing. In several decades, as I have told my kids many times, there has not been a single election (at any level) where I was entirely happy with my choice. That s reality.

As far as Trump and others' efforts to interfere in the democratic process, obnoxious as I find them, I feel that the best thing the Democrats could do is to move forward and present an ethical alternative that reflects the views of the majority of the electorate, rather than doing the same kind of thing as Trump and doubling down with the more extreme elements in their own party.

One thing to note: Trump was the best thing that happened to much of the media, whose rating$ $kyrocketted as every day people would tune in to watch the train wreck. The worst thing for them would be to get a Republican candidate who was as charismatic as Biden.

They have a vested interest in keeping the focus on Trump for the audience, whether that is in the best interest of the country and/or democracy or not.
(Court cases for Jan.6 rioters can proceed whether the media covers them or not. How much news coverage they get depends on how many eyeballs they can generate, not on how intrinsically "important" they are.)

Who proposed the bolded is the solution? It certainly wasn't me.

As apl68 indicated, any party that views the other as inherently evil and who must be prevented from holding power by any means possible is essentially proposing that.

Well, that's not my opinion on all of this. I'd be very happy to see Republicans run a sane candidate in 2024 - one who doesn't rile up their constituents with dangerous conspiracy theories or try to delegitimize the electoral process. I can think of a few people along these lines and while I probably wouldn't vote for any of them I would be fine with them winning the election.

In terms of solutions, I'd like to see policies to put guardrails on state-legislatures and to clarify the role of the VP.  I think the latter is possible, but unlikely, while the former will certainly not happen at this point.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 11, 2022, 08:39:20 AM
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.

I acknowledge your concern.  It is deeply concerning that so much of the Republican party and its supporters are still in thrall to Trump.  Let's be fair--the real Trump nuts, the ones storming the Capitol and generating fake news and trolling anybody and everybody (Including the Fora's own resident troll) are in the minority.  But the majority has failed to forcefully repudiate that minority, and that's simply not right. 

Here's the thing, though--part of the reason why so many conservatives feel a need to hang together despite everything is because they are deeply, deeply afraid of what could happen to them if they don't.  And it is not right to dismiss their fears as nothing but the product of brainwashing by fake news.  I get my news from mainstream sources.  And in these mainstream sources I saw a failure in some quarters to repudiate the widespread political violence that occurred last year with BLM.  I've seen calls on the opinion pages of the NYT to unseat certain Republican members of Congress--democratically elected members of Congress--in the belief that they don't deserve to be there.  I've seen substantial segments of leftist opinion positioning themselves to claim that the midterm losses that they likely face this year are the result of elections stolen through voter suppression and gerrymandering--in other words, denying that election results are legitimate. 

Loss of support for the democratic process is not confined to one party.  It's more acute among Republican supporters, yes, but it's not limited to them.  Democracy can only function if the different factions within it recognize each other's fundamental legitimacy, even if they disagree.  And I don't see either of the principal partisan sides in the U.S. doing that anymore.  Neither Republicans nor Democrats seem willing to accept that the other side might have a right to win elections.  The other side is evil, and has no right to wield power, and can only have succeeded because they did something to steal the election. 

Hate is ultimately a product of fear.  The more the two sides fall into this mutual fear and loathing, the more they will hate each other.  Hate hurts democracy, and everything else.

I agree with much of this, regarding Democrats. As I said in my opening post and elsewhere, both parties have exacerbated the problem. Rs are a much more significant danger to democracy at the moment, but it could be Ds in the future that use the tactics Rs have been polishing. That's one of the many reasons that conservatives should be on board with addressing these issues.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Istiblennius on January 11, 2022, 08:51:02 AM
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.


There are all kinds of things, including those you've listed, that merit concern. However, if the proposed solution is to effectively operate as a one-party state, then that makes "democracy" just some sort of window dressing. In several decades, as I have told my kids many times, there has not been a single election (at any level) where I was entirely happy with my choice. That s reality.

As far as Trump and others' efforts to interfere in the democratic process, obnoxious as I find them, I feel that the best thing the Democrats could do is to move forward and present an ethical alternative that reflects the views of the majority of the electorate, rather than doing the same kind of thing as Trump and doubling down with the more extreme elements in their own party.

One thing to note: Trump was the best thing that happened to much of the media, whose rating$ $kyrocketted as every day people would tune in to watch the train wreck. The worst thing for them would be to get a Republican candidate who was as charismatic as Biden.

They have a vested interest in keeping the focus on Trump for the audience, whether that is in the best interest of the country and/or democracy or not.
(Court cases for Jan.6 rioters can proceed whether the media covers them or not. How much news coverage they get depends on how many eyeballs they can generate, not on how intrinsically "important" they are.)

Who proposed the bolded is the solution? It certainly wasn't me.

As apl68 indicated, any party that views the other as inherently evil and who must be prevented from holding power by any means possible is essentially proposing that.

Slipperly slope logical fallacy. Seeking to replace the current iteration of the in-thrall to Trump/minority rule power over principle, party over country Republican party with something that is more like the Republican party I grew up with - (Bob Dole was my senator before I could vote, and my first vote cast was for him in a presidential primary) is not the same as trying to seek a one party system.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: pgher on January 11, 2022, 09:42:22 AM
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.


There are all kinds of things, including those you've listed, that merit concern. However, if the proposed solution is to effectively operate as a one-party state, then that makes "democracy" just some sort of window dressing. In several decades, as I have told my kids many times, there has not been a single election (at any level) where I was entirely happy with my choice. That s reality.

As far as Trump and others' efforts to interfere in the democratic process, obnoxious as I find them, I feel that the best thing the Democrats could do is to move forward and present an ethical alternative that reflects the views of the majority of the electorate, rather than doing the same kind of thing as Trump and doubling down with the more extreme elements in their own party.

One thing to note: Trump was the best thing that happened to much of the media, whose rating$ $kyrocketted as every day people would tune in to watch the train wreck. The worst thing for them would be to get a Republican candidate who was as charismatic as Biden.

They have a vested interest in keeping the focus on Trump for the audience, whether that is in the best interest of the country and/or democracy or not.
(Court cases for Jan.6 rioters can proceed whether the media covers them or not. How much news coverage they get depends on how many eyeballs they can generate, not on how intrinsically "important" they are.)

Who proposed the bolded is the solution? It certainly wasn't me.

As apl68 indicated, any party that views the other as inherently evil and who must be prevented from holding power by any means possible is essentially proposing that.

Slipperly slope logical fallacy. Seeking to replace the current iteration of the in-thrall to Trump/minority rule power over principle, party over country Republican party with something that is more like the Republican party I grew up with - (Bob Dole was my senator before I could vote, and my first vote cast was for him in a presidential primary) is not the same as trying to seek a one party system.

I believe we are best served by two parties who have different approaches, but a shared love of ALL Americans and a mutual respect for each other's legitimacy. That's not what we have today.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: apl68 on January 11, 2022, 10:07:36 AM
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.

I acknowledge your concern.  It is deeply concerning that so much of the Republican party and its supporters are still in thrall to Trump.  Let's be fair--the real Trump nuts, the ones storming the Capitol and generating fake news and trolling anybody and everybody (Including the Fora's own resident troll) are in the minority.  But the majority has failed to forcefully repudiate that minority, and that's simply not right. 

Here's the thing, though--part of the reason why so many conservatives feel a need to hang together despite everything is because they are deeply, deeply afraid of what could happen to them if they don't.  And it is not right to dismiss their fears as nothing but the product of brainwashing by fake news.  I get my news from mainstream sources.  And in these mainstream sources I saw a failure in some quarters to repudiate the widespread political violence that occurred last year with BLM.  I've seen calls on the opinion pages of the NYT to unseat certain Republican members of Congress--democratically elected members of Congress--in the belief that they don't deserve to be there.  I've seen substantial segments of leftist opinion positioning themselves to claim that the midterm losses that they likely face this year are the result of elections stolen through voter suppression and gerrymandering--in other words, denying that election results are legitimate. 

Loss of support for the democratic process is not confined to one party.  It's more acute among Republican supporters, yes, but it's not limited to them.  Democracy can only function if the different factions within it recognize each other's fundamental legitimacy, even if they disagree.  And I don't see either of the principal partisan sides in the U.S. doing that anymore.  Neither Republicans nor Democrats seem willing to accept that the other side might have a right to win elections.  The other side is evil, and has no right to wield power, and can only have succeeded because they did something to steal the election. 

Hate is ultimately a product of fear.  The more the two sides fall into this mutual fear and loathing, the more they will hate each other.  Hate hurts democracy, and everything else.

I agree with much of this, regarding Democrats. As I said in my opening post and elsewhere, both parties have exacerbated the problem. Rs are a much more significant danger to democracy at the moment, but it could be Ds in the future that use the tactics Rs have been polishing. That's one of the many reasons that conservatives should be on board with addressing these issues.

Yes!  The whole idea of democracy is, or should be, that everybody is committed to making it work, disagreements on various things notwithstanding.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mamselle on January 11, 2022, 12:19:44 PM
More hope (for those who don't just come to this thread to bellyache):

   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/11/madison-cawthorn-trump-republican-north-carolina-voters

NC's Republicans are doing something about the issue.

M.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 11, 2022, 01:26:52 PM
More hope (for those who don't just come to this thread to bellyache):

   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/11/madison-cawthorn-trump-republican-north-carolina-voters

NC's Republicans are doing something about the issue.

M.

Let's make a deal. We'll give up Madison Cawthorn and you give up Maxine Waters.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Ruralguy on January 11, 2022, 01:56:43 PM
Why would you want Democrats to give up Waters? She's close to retirement. Make Dems give up an up and comer like AOC.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 11, 2022, 01:59:19 PM
I was thinking of someone who is outright subversive. Maybe AOC qualifies. OK, Kamala then.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 11, 2022, 02:08:55 PM
Why would you want Democrats to give up Waters? She's close to retirement. Make Dems give up an up and comer like AOC.

Naah, keep them both. Like red flags to a bull for the Republicans! :-)
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 11, 2022, 03:23:27 PM
Why would you want Democrats to give up Waters? She's close to retirement. Make Dems give up an up and comer like AOC.

Naah, keep them both. Like red flags to a bull for the Republicans! :-)

Hillary Clinton with a twenty year head start. Her new riff, 'you're angry because you're not good enough to get me in the sack' is still playing out.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 11, 2022, 09:19:18 PM
It is bad to let oneself get sucked into party politics. Better to think of structure. I like symmetry.

Many of us think a return to the center is a good answer. The center being the median voter on any particular issue. On a single issue, the median always wins [well, conditional on technical stuff].

But what if the median voters are few in number? We essentially have that now: A bimodal distribution of preferences.

But bimodal can mean a lot -- big differences in modes? Steep change of number of voters away from median preferences? Looks like neither side has an incentive to move to the median on account they'd lose more voters [staying home, protesting, and so on] than gaining them.

An extreme case was slavery. Median voter might have wanted a little slavery. But there were very few of those, so no, it took a civil war.

Abortion rights contemporaneously are similar. Let's not have a civil war over that.

This shows that in an electorate with bi-modally dispersed preferences -- us -- nobody is happy with the democratic outcome, even if it's fair and square.

Hence, a democratic cure might be more federalism. It can't be a uniform standard on everything.

But this at least explains the noise, trying to pull voters into one or the other camp with words rather than policy promises. The words cost nothing.



Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 11, 2022, 11:51:58 PM
Symmetry/reciprocity are good. It would be good to agree it's unacceptable to invade the Capitol Buildings or other government property with talk of hanging Mike Pence because you have doubts about vote tabulating, and it would be good to agree it's unacceptable to pointedly neglect law enforcement, public safety or encourage burglary of retail and setting fire to police precinct/cruisers and other places because George Floyd was brutalized and died in police custody. We won't get one without an agreement to both.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 12, 2022, 09:21:41 AM
It is bad to let oneself get sucked into party politics. Better to think of structure. I like symmetry.

Many of us think a return to the center is a good answer. The center being the median voter on any particular issue. On a single issue, the median always wins [well, conditional on technical stuff].

But what if the median voters are few in number? We essentially have that now: A bimodal distribution of preferences.

But bimodal can mean a lot -- big differences in modes? Steep change of number of voters away from median preferences? Looks like neither side has an incentive to move to the median on account they'd lose more voters [staying home, protesting, and so on] than gaining them.

An extreme case was slavery. Median voter might have wanted a little slavery. But there were very few of those, so no, it took a civil war.

Abortion rights contemporaneously are similar. Let's not have a civil war over that.

This shows that in an electorate with bi-modally dispersed preferences -- us -- nobody is happy with the democratic outcome, even if it's fair and square.

Hence, a democratic cure might be more federalism. It can't be a uniform standard on everything.

But this at least explains the noise, trying to pull voters into one or the other camp with words rather than policy promises. The words cost nothing.

Looks like Hilary Clinton disagrees. She is setting herself up to run in 2024. She sees her chance in moving to the center.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-clinton-2024-comeback-president-biden-harris-democrat-nominee-race-2022-midterm-loss-11641914951 (https://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-clinton-2024-comeback-president-biden-harris-democrat-nominee-race-2022-midterm-loss-11641914951)
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: kaysixteen on January 12, 2022, 10:50:48 PM
I did not get past the three or four sentence free part before the paywall hit, but, well... the Democrats would just insult Americans if they attempted to foist Hillary-- whom I reluctantly voted for in the 2016 general-- on us again.   Millions of Americans have voted for Dem presidential candidates and would easily be convinced to do so again, but do not want Hillary Clinton ever to be president.  That may offend some secular denizens of Cambridge and Wellesley faculty lounges, but true enough it remains, and a party coup replacing Biden/ Harris with her would almost certainly give us more Trump... or someone much much worse.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mamselle on January 13, 2022, 07:39:52 PM
The founder of Oath Keepers has been charged with seditious conspiracy:

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7-KxEIeeqQ

M.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 14, 2022, 06:32:23 AM
There is a good discussion of this topic on the latest 538 podcast. The professor they interview notes (as some posters here have) that the quality of US democracy has declined according to every measure that researchers use. The host pushes back in a pretty smart, data driven way.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Ruralguy on January 14, 2022, 06:46:47 AM
A number of sources are dismissing the Hillary thing.

My guess is that this is trolling (by Fox News sources) that is mainly meant to promote nasty infighting (and outfighting that can get the Republican base all bothered when there isn't a rebellion to defend).
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 14, 2022, 08:10:01 AM
A number of sources are dismissing the Hillary thing.

My guess is that this is trolling (by Fox News sources) that is mainly meant to promote nasty infighting (and outfighting that can get the Republican base all bothered when there isn't a rebellion to defend).

As far as the state of democracy, in the remote possibility that 2024 once more was Trump vs. Clinton, THAT would indicate a very sad state of affairs. On both sides.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mamselle on January 14, 2022, 10:38:40 AM
Clinton is principled, experienced, and savvy.

So one part of that statement needs re-consideration.

M.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 14, 2022, 10:50:44 AM
A number of sources are dismissing the Hillary thing.

My guess is that this is trolling (by Fox News sources) that is mainly meant to promote nasty infighting (and outfighting that can get the Republican base all bothered when there isn't a rebellion to defend).

As far as the state of democracy, in the remote possibility that 2024 once more was Trump vs. Clinton, THAT would indicate a very sad state of affairs. On both sides.

Nah, it would be a lot of fun watching the replay!
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 14, 2022, 11:01:16 AM
Clinton is principled, experienced, and savvy.

So one part of that statement needs re-consideration.

M.

I believe you have to go back to 1956 to find someone who lost an election who was brought back as the candidate for a subsequent one. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing again and expecting a different result.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 14, 2022, 11:02:54 AM
I would hope for Hillary to get the nomination rather than Biden. She's smarter, at least.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: jimbogumbo on January 14, 2022, 11:10:13 AM
Clinton is principled, experienced, and savvy.

So one part of that statement needs re-consideration.

M.

I believe you have to go back to 1956 to find someone who lost an election who was brought back as the candidate for a subsequent one. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing again and expecting a different result.

Nixon lost in 1960, and then won in1968.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: marshwiggle on January 14, 2022, 11:25:38 AM
Clinton is principled, experienced, and savvy.

So one part of that statement needs re-consideration.

M.

I believe you have to go back to 1956 to find someone who lost an election who was brought back as the candidate for a subsequent one. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing again and expecting a different result.

Nixon lost in 1960, and then won in1968.

I stand corrected. At any rate, you basically have to answer the following question: "What slice of voters who chose Trump (or stayed home, I suppose), in 2016 who would now vote for Clinton?"

I can't come up with any demographic for that. (Unless geographical voting patterns change, then even the whole electoral college thing will work the same way it did then as well.)
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Ruralguy on January 14, 2022, 12:05:23 PM
The most relevant point of historical trivia would be "When was the last time that a president who lost re-election then came back to win it in the next election?  I think the answer is Grover Cleveland.  He was President  until the late 1880's , then he lost the next election, then he won the next one after that. So, Trump would have to do something that happened only one other time, 130 years ago.  And a Republican has never done it (if that matters!). Cleveland won the popular vote all three times. If Trump pulls it off, it would likely be with three popular vote losses in a row.

Though I agree that Clinton wouldn't really bring anybody in who isn't inclined to vote for her already, that might be enough, especially if people feel the same regarding Trump. 
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 14, 2022, 02:15:19 PM
People who voted for Trump and Hillary in 2016 are dead or in dementia by now. New voters coming along. It could be interesting. I suspect young voters are not going to be excited about Hillary, which would be an advantage for Trump. If she starts talking about the 'Glass Ceiling' (yawn...they had Margaret Thatcher in 1979) and 'the year of the woman' Trump has it made.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 14, 2022, 02:20:36 PM
Found this as a comment on another blog:

1824, 1872, 1960, 2000, 2004, 2016. Questioning election results is a national pastime, and maybe sometimes the allegations even have merit, but now it's a grave threat to our fragile democracy.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: jimbogumbo on January 14, 2022, 03:14:21 PM
Clinton is principled, experienced, and savvy.

So one part of that statement needs re-consideration.

M.

I believe you have to go back to 1956 to find someone who lost an election who was brought back as the candidate for a subsequent one. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing again and expecting a different result.

Nixon lost in 1960, and then won in1968.

I stand corrected. At any rate, you basically have to answer the following question: "What slice of voters who chose Trump (or stayed home, I suppose), in 2016 who would now vote for Clinton?"

I can't come up with any demographic for that. (Unless geographical voting patterns change, then even the whole electoral college thing will work the same way it did then as well.)

I've got no clue. Maybe a "who do you fear more as President" question or a "who do you loathe more" question. mamselle is absolutely correct that exactly one of them is capable of governing without craziness. However, as long as Evangelicals fear her, are entranced by him or strike a Devil's bargain for the SC I don't think she can win.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 14, 2022, 03:59:30 PM

I've got no clue. Maybe a "who do you fear more as President" question or a "who do you loathe more" question. mamselle is absolutely correct that exactly one of them is capable of governing without craziness. However, as long as Evangelicals fear her, are entranced by him or strike a Devil's bargain for the SC I don't think she can win.

Right now, with democrats and their skewed priorities, is craziness. Those of us who are not set for life financially have reason to worry about accelerating inflation, among other things.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 14, 2022, 04:07:11 PM
When I consider American political commentary, I eventually hark back to what was described in La Dolce Vita [1960] https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053779/ (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053779/)

Sad, sad, sad. Farce. It's not even wrong.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Ruralguy on January 14, 2022, 04:44:10 PM
I thought Indira broke the glass ceiling in 1966, and then Golda in 1969. Though, of interest, neither country has had a second woman as PM (though Israel came close a few years back).
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 14, 2022, 05:35:53 PM
I thought Indira broke the glass ceiling in 1966, and then Golda in 1969. Though, of interest, neither country has had a second woman as PM (though Israel came close a few years back).

My opinion (obviously)
Thinking that the UK needs to have another woman head-of-state, and now, would be another trite 'feminist' idea. All they need is to have the right person for the job with the right ideas and leadership skill, which Thatcher and many others believed she was, and that they need urgently. It's the nation that is important. The folly of thinking it's important to break the 'glass-ceiling' is what gave the democrats their newest self-contructed political liability, Kamala Harris. Explained: https://unherd.com/2022/01/kamala-harris-was-set-up-to-fail/
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: dismalist on January 14, 2022, 06:01:11 PM
I thought Indira broke the glass ceiling in 1966, and then Golda in 1969. Though, of interest, neither country has had a second woman as PM (though Israel came close a few years back).

My opinion (obviously)
Thinking that the UK needs to have another woman head-of-state, and now, would be another trite 'feminist' idea. All they need is to have the right person for the job with the right ideas and leadership skill, which Thatcher and many others believed she was, and that they need urgently. It's the nation that is important. The folly of thinking it's important to break the 'glass-ceiling' is what gave the democrats their newest self-contructed political liability, Kamala Harris. Explained: https://unherd.com/2022/01/kamala-harris-was-set-up-to-fail/

Margaret was Minister of Education in the Heath cabinet. She did not want to cancel free school milk, though she did [Thatcher, thatcher, milk snatcher], taking a hit for the team, which was all male. Later, Ted Heath said: Margaret is the only cabinet member who has balls!

A Soviet military magazine invented the sobriquet "The Iron Lady" for her, which she gladly accepted.

She broke ceilings by herself.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: nebo113 on January 15, 2022, 06:20:16 AM
Mahog wrong again:  People who voted for Trump and Hillary in 2016 are dead or in dementia by now.  And insufferably, deliberately offensive, insulting many folks on The Fora who voted for either T or H in 2016 and who are neither dead nor suffering from dementia.

Wonder why Mahog has this need to name call, verbally abuse, use ad hominems....perhasps because s/he/it has so little else.....

Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 15, 2022, 06:51:43 AM
Fewer people than ever trusting the news media is a concerning thing. It's a bad thing that they don't have news they believe they can trust, but it would be a worse thing if they still trusted news that they shouldn't. One example is the high number of editorials condemning Sens. Manchin and Sinema recently for breaking ranks with the democrats, usually found in outlets with a decided liberal slant. But there is no critical mass of voters who agree with the democrats on either the question of the filibuster or the need for nationalizing voting.
https://www.politico.com/f/?id=0000017e-4c41-dbc8-a1ff-7d6105130000
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mamselle on January 15, 2022, 06:53:23 AM
Mahog wrong again:  People who voted for Trump and Hillary in 2016 are dead or in dementia by now.  And insufferably, deliberately offensive, insulting many folks on The Fora who voted for either T or H in 2016 and who are neither dead nor suffering from dementia.

Wonder why Mahog has this need to name call, verbally abuse, use ad hominems....perhaps because s/he/it has so little else.....

Glad you pointed this out.

I was going to, but I had to prep a theory class, revise an article manuscript for submission, and get a conference paper abstract (due today, it's in wrap-up phase, now) started.

Guess I'm too slow, somnolent, and decrepit as an active independent scholar and teacher to make reasoned political choices.

That must be it...

M.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mahagonny on January 15, 2022, 07:08:35 AM
Mahog wrong again:  People who voted for Trump and Hillary in 2016 are dead or in dementia by now.  And insufferably, deliberately offensive, insulting many folks on The Fora who voted for either T or H in 2016 and who are neither dead nor suffering from dementia.

Wonder why Mahog has this need to name call, verbally abuse, use ad hominems....perhaps because s/he/it has so little else.....

Glad you pointed this out.

I was going to, but I had to prep a theory class, revise an article manuscript for submission, and get a conference paper abstract (due today, it's in wrap-up phase, now) started.

Guess I'm too slow, somnolent, and decrepit as an active independent scholar and teacher to make reasoned political choices.

That must be it...

M.

No, My meaning was misconstrued. I explained on the other thread.

Nebo occasionally stalks me with these silly accusations. Last time it was outrage over the phrase 'the blacks.' Which I don't say any more. However, 'people of color' takes longer to type.
ETA: Can you say 'African Americans' any more? I think the jury is still out. Of course, I am posing the question to some who want us to use the term 'Latinx' which the group themselves dislikes.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: ciao_yall on January 15, 2022, 09:17:45 AM
Hm. Was talking about this with a few friends the other day.

On the one hand we haven't rounded up all people of a certain national descent, taken their property and sent them to internment camps.

But we do "other" another group of people by not making it possible for them to immigrate "legally," and deport them from time to time. Or separate them from their children and then lose the paperwork.

We don't have regular lynching parties or openly segregated neighborhoods, schools, and businesses.

But we do deny schooling, parks, and preschools, then send young people on the cradle-to-prison pipeline where they are locked away; or have "stand your ground" laws where it's okay to shoot and kill a stranger who someone thinks is trespassing.

We have desegregated our schools, but also got rid of free/low cost college educations for those who don't have family money to pay tuition. So these young people start out life under a mountain of debt.

We don't commit violence against workers demanding their rights. We do ship jobs to China where people live away from their families in dorms, with no privacy, making cheap products.

So have we made progress? Or shifted one set of wrongs into a new set of wrongs. Are we just more civilized about how we harm people?
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on January 15, 2022, 10:06:14 AM
2024 chatter is just meaningless speculation at this point. That said, I will engage just to say that nominating either Trump or Clinton would be a colossal political blunder for their respective parties.
Title: Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
Post by: mamselle on January 15, 2022, 12:23:28 PM
Meanwhile, the journalists and the committee are doing their job:

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kOUyWufSN8

That's a sign of democratic processes moving forward.

M.